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.
Doctors should evaluate people who have memory loss, and those with mild cognitive impairment should be monitored because of their risk for dementia.