Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

MCI is also identified as the first clinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The subtype of MCI associated with AD is called amnestic MCI and affects an individual’s memory. Approximately 80% of people with amnestic MCI develop AD within 6 years. According to the Mayo Clinic, 15-20% of MCI patients progress to dementia each year. In comparison, the progression rate for the general population is 1-2%. Since MCI is the first symptomatic stage of AD, accurately detecting MCI enables medical professionals to then take the steps necessary to determine if a patient has early stage AD and might benefit from timely intervention.


Symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Your brain changes as you grow older just like the rest of your body. Many people notice gradually increasing forgetfulness as they age. It may take longer to think of a word or to recall a person’s name.

But consistent or increasing concern about your mental performance may suggest MCI. Cognitive issues may go beyond what’s expected and indicate possible MCI if you experience any or all of the following:

  • You forget things more often.
  • You forget important events such as appointments or social engagements.
  • You lose your train of thought or the thread of conversations, books or movies.
  • You feel increasingly overwhelmed by making decisions, planning steps to accomplish a task or interpreting instructions.
  • You start to have trouble finding your way around familiar environments.
  • You become more impulsive or show increasingly poor judgment.
  • Your family and friends notice any of these changes.
  • If you have MCI, you may also experience:
  • Depression
  • Irritability and aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Apathy

Learn more about MCI at the Orange County Vital Brain Aging Program website.