Some people have memory loss but do not have
dementia. They have what is known as mild cognitive
impairment, a middle ground between normal aging and dementia. People with this
condition are at risk for developing dementia; but not all people with
mild cognitive impairment will progress to dementia.
People with mild cognitive impairment often know that they have lost
memory, and tests can confirm some loss. But they have normal overall mental
functioning and can carry out normal activities of daily living.
In Alzheimer’s disease, nerve cells in the brain die gradually. This makes it increasingly difficult for your brain’s signals to be sent properly.
Alzheimer’s disease symptoms may be hard to recognize at first. You may assume that symptoms such as mild forgetfulness or an occasional loss of focus are normal signs of aging. But as the disease progresses, Alzheimer’s disease symptoms become more than “normal” changes. They become frightening, incapacitating, and dangerous. In the latter stages of...
Doctors should evaluate people with memory loss, and those with mild
cognitive impairment should be monitored because of their risk for developing
dementia. Several studies are being done to see whether medicine can delay dementia in people who have mild cognitive impairment.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Peter J. Whitehouse, MD - Neurology
June 23, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 23, 2011
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