(HealthDay)-Diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) may be worrisome for older people who may consider it a stepping stone to dementia. However, new research suggests that one does not always lead to the other.
In fact, nearly half of the older people followed in this study (all diagnosed with memory and thinking problems and had an MCI diagnosis) were no longer in that state after a few years.
This study was conducted to help us better understand what factors are important to human risk. dementia..
“We wanted to gain more knowledge about the early stages of dementia as a potential time frame for dementia prevention or intervention strategies,” said the lead author of the study, Neuropsychology at Columbia University in New York City. Professor Jennifer Manly said.
She said the study was conducted among a diverse group of Americans. “Most previous MCI studies have been conducted only on older non-Hispanic Caucasians seeking help from a doctor specializing in memory impairment,” explained Manly.
The findings emphasize that people with MCI are a diverse group, she said. Not all of them develop dementia in the short term. This suggests that MCI status should be considered a “higher risk classification” rather than an early stage of dementia, Manley said.
Interestingly, she added that the predictors of MCI are not necessarily the same as those that predict the progression of MCI to dementia.
In this study, researchers followed more than 2,900 study participants with an average age of mid-70s for about six years.
During the study period, 752 participants were diagnosed with MCI.These diagnoses occurred when participants reported memory and thinking problems and the test showed. Cognitive dysfunction..They could still be maintained Daily activities Studies have shown problems with less than three activities, such as shopping and drug handling.
Of the patients with MCI, 480 were followed up. Two years later, 13% of MCI patients had dementia. Another 30% still had MCI but did not develop dementia. Approximately 10% had impaired mental function, but still did not meet the criteria for MCI or dementia.
However, nearly half (48%) of those previously diagnosed with MCI were “cognitively normal” on average 2.4 years after follow-up visits. They may initially meet one or two of the three criteria for MCI.
Among the predicted changeable risks Lower risk Regarding the development of MCI, researchers have found that they have been educated for more years and participated in more. Leisure activities Reading, visiting friends, taking a walk, etc. can make a difference. So it could also be a higher income.
Specifically, those who were more educated or participated in more leisure activities were 5% less likely to develop MCI.
Predictors that increase the risk of developing dementia in MCI include the use of antidepressants, symptoms of depression, and some of the thinking skills such as specific genes, memory, language, and spatial skills that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Includes MCI that affects aspects.
About 18% of people who took antidepressants developed dementia, compared to 7% who continued MCI and 6% who did not meet the MCI criteria.
Manly said the results did not mean that these risk factors cause dementia, but that they showed an association. These findings could help define future public health initiatives, especially if risk factors can be modified, Manley said.
The findings were published online in the journal on December 1st. Neurology.. The limits of the study included a relatively short follow-up time.
Mild cognitive impairment has been thought to be a precursor to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but MCI is actually a mixed group of cases that diverge along different pathways, said Cedars Sinai, director of the Memory and Aging Program. One Dr. Zarditan said. In Los Angeles. Tan was not involved in the study.
“People with mild cognitive impairment are in a heterogeneous group, and some are actually on the path to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Mild cognitive impairment “For other causes that may be reversible, such as depression, sleep deprivation, and obstructive sleep apnea,” Tan said. I have a medical condition of dementia. “
Evidence suggests a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, good sleep, and heart control. dangerous According to Tan, all factors that reduce stress and maintain cognitive and social involvement are beneficial to overall brain health, but in the sense that it prevents people with MCI from developing dementia. is not.
If anyone has concerns about their memory, it’s important for them to inform their GP, Tan said.
“The attending physician is best at determining if further evaluation is needed. memory A test or neuroimaging or neuropsychological test. ”
The Alzheimer’s Association details Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. 10 early warning signs..
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