CogniFit's Science blog: Introduction To Mild Cognitive Impairment

Introduction To Mild Cognitive Impairment

Mild cognitive impairment is defined as the area between normal cognitive decline associated with age and diagnosed dementia.

People suffering from mild cognitive impairment may experience sharp declines in cognitive skills like speech, memory, thought process and judgment. But these symptoms are not as severe as someone with full-blown dementia.

Those that have been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment may basically realize that there is something happening to their brain functions and everyday abilities. People with dementia don’t always understand what is going on and are not aware that they are even having any problems.

Being diagnosed with MCI (mild cognitive impairment) means that there is an increased chance that the symptoms could get worse and ultimately develop into dementia, but aren’t severe enough to be classified as the same. Some people with MCI only experience mild symptoms that never get worse and may even improve with time.

Some form of cognitive decline is natural and happens with all of us due to age. As we get older, our brains just don’t function as sharp as they once did. This is normal and to be expected. But there is a fine line between normal and MCI that you should be aware of.

This fine line that differentiates normal decline from MCI can be seen through the following symptoms:

- Memory loss that seems to worsen at a mediocre pace. People do lose their ability to remember things with old age, but the decline is very slow and hardly noticeable from one week to the next.
 - Forgetting important events or dates that you would normally not forget. While it is normal to accidentally forget about someone’s birthday because you are so engaged with other things on your plate, it is not normal to forget these events over and over again.
- Losing your train of thought in mid-sentence or losing the ability to finish your sentences fairly often.
- Unable to make decisions, focus, and plan out things.

These are just a few symptoms to be concerned about and may be classified as mild cognitive impairment. If your friends and family begin to notice marked changes in your behavior and/or ability to function as you once normally did, then this may signal the fact that you need to seek professional medical advice.

If you can catch mild cognitive impairment at its early stages, there are all kinds of treatment options that can be offered to make your life better with less symptoms. Seek out medical help as soon as you notice these symptoms reoccurring.