Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a common condition in the elderly. It is characterized by deterioration of memory, attention, and cognitive function that is beyond what is expected based on age and educational level. MCI does not interfere significantly with individuals’ daily activities.
A workgroup on diagnostic guidelines from the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association (NIA-AA) identified the following core clinical features that indicate MCI due to Alzheimer disease (AD). It should be noted that these criteria only refer to the subset of all MCI that is thought be due to AD, and not to MCI due to other etiologies, eg, vascular disease, other neurodegenerative conditions, or psychiatric conditions.
- Cognitive concern reflecting a change in cognition reported by patient or informant or observed by clinician
- Objective evidence of impairment in one or more cognitive domains, typically including memory
- Preservation of independence in functional abilities
- Not demented
The etiology of MCI should be evaluated to identify the cause as most likely to be AD:
- Rule out vascular, traumatic, medical causes of cognitive decline, where possible
- Provide evidence of longitudinal decline in cognition, when feasible
- Report history consistent with AD genetic factors, where relevant
As part of the MCI due to AD criteria, biomarkers are used to augment clinical suspicions that the clinical syndrome of MCI is due to AD.
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Created Oct 25, 2019.