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Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia - Topic Overview

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.

Recommended Related to Alzheimer's

Sundowning

Sundowning, or sundown syndrome, affects some people who have Alzheimer's disease and dementia. People with dementia who "sundown" get confused and agitated as the sun goes down -- and sometimes through the night. Sundowning may prevent people with dementia from sleeping well. It may also make them more likely to wander. Due to the stress it puts on caregivers, sundowning is a common cause of caregiver burnout.

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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.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 11, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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