Research update: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) - Definition, diagnosis, and treatment possibilities

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an important but not yet well-defined concept. During the past few decades, several researchers have attempted to define and identify those with memory or cognitive impairment, with or without functional impairment, due to aging, disease, or both. It is not possible to obtain reliable estimates on the prevalence of MCI, but it is clearly increasing as the number of elderly in our society grows. The most recent definition of MCI focuses on memory impairment and has been used to identify those at high risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). For those with MCI the conversion rate to AD appears to be 10% to 15% per year. This article briefly reviews the progress to date in defining MCI and the role it may play in identifying those at high risk of developing AD or any other type of dementia. The authors review guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology and other sources for the appropriate screening of older adults in a primary care practice. Although MCI is not yet a clearly defined clinical entity, identifying older adults with memory and/or cognitive impairment is an important clinical opportunity for 2 major reasons-recognizing a potential problem for which a patient and family members should plan, and alerting the physician to the need for regular monitoring of the patients cognitive function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-296
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Studies in Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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