MCI= More Thank Just Forgetfulness

Originally published

Are there any ‘THIS IS US’ fans out there?   I watched the Season 5 Premier this past weekend.  No spoiler alerts here but it was a very timely show, which discussed Covid, Black Lives Matter and feuding siblings.  However for today’s blog I thought I would write about Rebecca’s diagnosis of ‘Mild Cognitive Impairment’.

Baycrest’s clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Nicole Anderson, defines MCI as “ the boundary zone or transition state between normal aging and dementia.” Dr. Anderson and colleagues have written the first book on MCI, designed for the general public. Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Guide to Maximizing Brain Health and Reducing Risk of Dementia provides information and advice.

She reviewed that 10-15% of adults aged 65 + are believed to have MCI, which causes cognitive problems that ‘go beyond what would be expected due to normal aging.’ The good news Dr. Anderson adds, is that MCI is not as severe as dementia and those living with MCI are able to function independently. However, they are at a higher risk of developing dementia, she cites studies that show over six years, 80% of individuals with MCI have progressed to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. She compares this number to only 16% of healthy older adults without a diagnosis of MCI, go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease over a 6 year period.

There is no drug treatments approved yet to treat MCI. Dr. Anderson states that the average onset is in the 70’s. She further states that the potential cause of MCI is Alzheimers’ Disease but small strokes or a brain injury could also be factors.
It seems that the best approach seems to be use it or lose it. Baycrest previously published a special issue focusing on MCI (Winter 2012). Good brain health is described as eating a healthy diet, being physically and socially active, and keeping mentally stimulated.

Rebecca says she doesn’t want to forget the small stuff and I don’t blame her……

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