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Cognitive Decline and Normal Aspects of Aging

September 30, 2015

Mild Cognitive Impairment or MCI characterizes a person who is able to function and live independently, but has some memory complaints. MCI is defined as mild neurocognitive disorder and falls under two different types of impairment: amnestic MCI and non-amnestic MCI. Amnestic MCI is characterized by chronic forgetfulness. Patients have no memory of past conversations or discussions. This form is recognized as an early sign of Alzheimer’s Disease. Non-amnestic represents difficulty remembering with multitasking and can occur in people with depression.


As we age, our speed of processing slows down. Driving a car and basic daily living are normal, but they are performed more slowly. Recognizing this state is important in identifying dementia. It is called a transitory state, but is differentiated from trying to recall a name or object that is on the “tip of the tongue”, but may be recalled a little later.


Having trouble with memory is a cause for concern, so it is important to address it with a physician to get baseline memory exercises, imaging or blood work. Not all memory problems are related to dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, but  can happen as a result of depression, diabetes or hearing impairment. The most important activity is staying connected with family and friends socially and maintaining good health through diet and exercise to help prevent problems.

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