Everything You Need To Know About Mild Cognitive Impairment

  • April 27, 2021 BY  Anthem Seniors
  • senior living in Anthem
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Individuals having difficulty with certain thinking or memory tasks with increasing age is a common phenomenon. This is presumably mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in particular cases that this article aims to discuss about. If you look up online, there are many suggestions on how to prevent it, from making healthy food choices, such as eating fish, vegetables, green tea to doing aerobic exercises, practicing yoga, meditation, and more.

Mild cognitive impairment means your cognitive abilities (thinking and memory skills) have worsened than normal for your age. If you have any concerns about your memory, do not assume it is MCI or that you’ve developed dementia until you have got it assessed by a clinician, so that you can chart the best course for your future. According to studies, worsening memory or thinking doesn’t mean one has MCI, since decline in certain types of thinking and memory skills are now considered to be a part of normal cognitive aging. In fact, not being able to recall a name or place, or forgetting car keys is a common complaint among normal older adults. This can be attributed to the brain processing speed slowing down with increasing age.

According to experts, some people with MCI are essentially in the very earliest stage of Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form of dementia) or another type of dementia, fret not, that’s only 30 to 40 percent of people. On the other hand, some individuals with MCI never seem to deteriorate, and some even seem to get better by following doctor’s advice and a healthy lifestyle.

Watch out for the following symptoms of MCI:

  1. Difficulty remembering things that’s happening more frequently
  2. Not being able to follow a conversation or basic instructions
  3. Very often losing your train of thought
  4. Forgetting appointments
  5. Finding it hard to make plans or decisions
  6. Difficulty recognizing familiar locations or losing your way even in known locations
  7. Emotional symptoms include irritability, anxiety, or depression

With MCI, the symptoms may not appear suddenly but these changes worsen over time. You must get yourself evaluated just at the onset of these symptoms. Remember early diagnosis of dementia (if it is) would mean early treatment and improved quality of life. For people dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia, memory care is the best form of senior living in Anthem.

Causes:

  1. Increasing age (risk is higher for individuals 65 years of age and older)
  2. Having a family history of MCI, Alzheimer’s disease, or another related dementia
  3. Sedentary lifestyle (lack of exercise and dependence on junk food)
  4. Certain medical conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, stroke, high cholesterol, or heart disease increases the risk
  5. Substance abuse (excessive alcohol consumption)

It must be noted that some people with MCI do fine, and do not develop Alzheimer’s. However, some recent studies has put forth the fact that approximately half of the people diagnosed with MCI will experience continued advancement of the symptoms, leading to a probable diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or a similar dementia.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

There is no one particular test to determine the presence of MCI. Doctors carry out a thorough evaluation comprising a physical examination, lab tests, neurological examinations, memory tests, review of medical history and medications to diagnose MCI and/or exclude other potential causes of the symptoms.

There is no one particular treatment or cure as well for MCI. Doctors mainly prescribe medications, and recommend mental stimulation and physical exercise (as simple as walking) to keep your mind and body in good shape, in their bid to slow down the progression of MCI.