Definition of Mild Cognitive Impairment [Must Read]

Lost your keys? Forgot that appointment with a client? Forgot that doctor’s appointment? Some people develop a condition called Mild Cognitive Impairment, usually as a consequence of getting older. We’ll get into the definition of mild cognitive impairment and what you can do about.

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is simply experiencing more memory problems than normal for people of the same age, but not as severe as those with Alzheimer’s disease. Family and friends might notice a little bit of a decline in memory and one might worry about losing his or her memory.

People diagnosed with MCI might have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia but not all end up developing those diseases. This is good news and very encouraging!

This means there might be things we can do to deter further development of MCI into worse problems. The definition of mild cognitive impairment doesn’t include the word ‘incurable’. I invite you to read on for more information and ways you might be able to help this condition or even prevent it…

Causes of MCI

According to Mayo Clinic, there’s no single cause of mild cognitive impairment and there’s no single outcome either. Symptoms can remain stable for years, they could progress into Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, but it could IMPROVE over time. People with MCI are usually able to carry on with their lives and function normally, it’s just harder. Chronic inflammation is a key factor here. Inflammation is a root cause of MCI, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, among others. I’ll be writing an article just on inflammation because it’s so important and the causes and effects are far-reaching.

Some of the changes in the brains of people with MCI they’ve identified are

There are natural ways to help these, especially Amyloid plaques. Keep reading..

Test your Brain Chemistry now to see what you’re missing! 

Symptoms of MCI

Here are some possible symptoms that could indicate mild cognitive impairment:

From Mayo Clinic (2018):

  • Losing things often
  • Forgetting to go to events or appointments
  • Having more trouble coming up with words than other people of the same age
  • Some people might experience movement difficulties or problems with their sense of smell.
  • Lose train of thought or the thread of conversations, books or movies.
  • Family and friends notice any of these changes.

MCI can cause depression, irritability, anxiety and apathy although these don’t mean you have it. However, they are more of a complication of it.

Risk Factors of MCI

The biggest risk factors for mild cognitive impairment are (Mayo Clinic, 2018):

  • Increasing age and
  • Have a specific form of a gene known as APOE-4, also linked to Alzheimer’s, although not all with this gene will get MCI or Alzheimer’s.

Well that’s pretty vague, isn’t it.African American man

Other risk factors:

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Low education
  • Infrequent participation in mentally or socially stimulating activities

Research has shown there might be a genetic factor for people in general but they still aren’t sure why some people progress to Alzheimer’s and others don’t.

The good news is we can do something about some of the ‘Other risk factors’.

Diagnosis of MCI

Well, a doctor can do memory, thinking and language tests or they can do some imaging. The doctor can tell you whether it’s Likely your symptoms are consistent with MCI. You can see a neurologist to measure your reflexes, eye movements, and walking and balance and see how healthy your nervous system is.

There isn’t a specific test or blood test that says that you definitely have Minor Cognitive Impairment. The truth is, it’s caused by multiple factors and possible deficiencies in nutrients.

But you definitely need them to check on other conditions that might be causing brain and memory issues. Do check in with your doctor to see if there’s something else you need to address like thryoid, parathyroid and other things.

There is an at-home test above for general brain chemistry testing. It doesn’t diagnose MCI specifically but it’s worth doing to address any deficiencies you have or problems you could have in the future!

Treatment and Prevention of MCI

There is currently no medical treatment of mild cognitive impairment, except to address deficiencies and create healthier habits through natural means. The cause of many diseases in humans is inflammation in the body. We need to reduce the inflammation to stay and get healthy.

You now have a better understanding of the definition of mild cognitive impairment. Just know there are Many resources and lots of information about supplements and lifestyle ideas here on Mywellbrain. So if you or a loved one are experiencing any memory, brain function or just forgetfulness issues, please share this info with them or on your social media or bookmark this site. 🙂

Supplements: A growing list of supplements shown to help brain function and inflammation.

Diet: Best diet for brain function.

Exercise: Easy ways to put exercise in your routine.

Get organized: Use planners and calendars to remind yourself of important events and appointments.

Rest: Get good sleep. Tips here for getting to sleep easier and setting your internal clock.

Natural Ways to Help Memory: Easy and natural ways to improve brain function and memory.

Read books like  The End of Alzheimer’s. Don’t let the name scare you. It’s got tons of information on Dale Bredesen M.D.’s 30 years of research on curing the brain. It’s a great read and includes his plan for cognitive decline reversal. I get a lot of my information from his work.

Pamper Yourself: Care for yourself. There is a program the American Cancer Society sponsors called, Look Good, Feel Better for female cancer patients. I think the term fits here as well. If you take care of your appearance and your emotions, you’ll feel better about yourself and feel like going out and being more active.

Maybe someday they’ll create some medications for this issue. But really, it’s a very individual thing. It is unlikely there will be one medication for all. What you are low on or lifestyle or disease states you have are yours and yours alone. So really, if it can be helped or solved by natural means, we’d prefer that right?

As always, if you have any comments, advice or experience with mild cognitive impairment and would like to get in on the conversation, please leave your input below.

Thank you for visiting and come back often for updates and news! You can also subscribe to my newsletter. I won’t spam you, promise.

References:

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI).[Mayo Clinic Staff]. (2018). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mild-cognitive-impairment/symptoms-causes/syc-20354578

Setting goals to be more active slows memory decline in older African Americans. (2018). https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/setting-goals-be-more-active-slows-memory-decline-older-african-americans

What Is Mild Cognitive Impairment? National Institute on Aging, US Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved 7/21/2019 from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-mild-cognitive-impairment

18 thoughts on “Definition of Mild Cognitive Impairment [Must Read]”

  1. Im just 34 years old and I tend to forget things. I hate it! hehe everytime I leave the house, as soon as I get to my car, I always have to go back inside the house to get something like my car keys, my tumbler, mobile phone etc. Its not really losing things and forgetting appointments but do i consider this a symptom? I may have to look into these supplements you are recommending. Thank you for writing this article, helped me understand more about MCI. Cheers!

    Reply
  2. Dear Paula,

    My mom is struggling with some memory problems and the doctor said it might be because of MCI. While doing some research online on MCI I came across your helpful and informative article.

    One of my aunts is struggling with Alzheimer’s so I was afraid whether my mom will have the same problem. After reading your article I got helpful insights and its a bit of relief.

    I am worried when I read “currently no medical treatment of mild cognitive impairment”. 

    What is nootropic and Natural Ways to Help Memory articles are super helpful. Thanks a lot for the articles. I will share what I learned from your articles with my mom. For sure it will motivate her.

    Much Success!

    Paul

    Reply
  3. Definition of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is a crucial topic that cannot be overlooked. It is important for one to become aware of the actions of forgetfulness and “queer” behaviour that can even be noticed by loved ones. This informative post is an eye opener to those who are aging or those showing signs that may lead to dementia and ultimately to Alzheimer’s disease. preventive measures such as involving oneself in physical exercises, caring for oneself are good preventive measures. However, a test kit is the best way to know the depth of MCI and this post highly recommends this fact. Thank you for sharing this educative post. 

    Reply
  4. I am always worried when I start forgetting things that it may be the beginning of worse things in the future. This is excellent information and helpful because I do a lot of things already that you mentioned in the article, including diet and exercise, and I am a big planner kind of a guy!  have dry erase boards, reminders on my phone, post it notes… you name it I probably have it! Thank you for the article, I will pass this along to my friends as well!

    Reply
  5. Thank goodness it is not an issue that one cannot deal with because from reading your post here I can see that there are a whole lot of ways to help the situation. The risk here is that it can go to become the Alhemzier disease which is even another higher form of dementia. I think that one should always live life healthily to do away with the MCI. Nice post, very educative.

    Reply
  6. It is usually annoying fpr me to walk up to my car and have to go back inside simply because I have forgot something vital and important. At first, I thought it was totally normal but then, when it becomes constant, I decided to seek for help as that is the only visible thing worthy of being done. Thumbs up to you for sharing all these here, This is like the full guide of MCI and I will surely checkout for supplements that can help conquer this.

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading. It’s worth getting proactive once you feel you might have memory issues. There are many supplements here but I recommend starting with Turmeric, which is simply a spice. Follow the link to read the article. 

      Reply
  7. Hello Paula,

    Very interesting post, you don’t seem to have a cause of the mci.  I believe that all of these conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, stroke, heart attack, alzheimers, dementia and cancer all result from insulin resistance.  

    I am not here to debate with you and I would like to know what you think about this as I am/was a type 2 diabetic and was insulin resistant for many years before being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

    Insulin resistance develops when you have borderline blood glucose, borderline may be OK for some people but for other not, in which case insulin rises and you have the start of an insulin resistance cycle. You could be insulin resistant for years, even decades before you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In the mean time you could have a stroke or heart attack and not diagnosed as diabetic. Even though you are insulin resistant.

    A great book to read is a book by Dr. Joseph Kraft – Diabetes Epidemic and you – he was the only doctor to perform 14, 384 insulin assays in conjunction with an OGTT for 5 hours. The book is absolutely fascinating.

    What are your thoughts?

    Reply
    • Actually, the true cause of any of those conditions is inflammation. Many of the supplements listed around my site are anti-inflammatories. Diabetes is among those that are caused by inflammation. It would be worth your time to check out some of the supplements in the articles because many of them are also good for diabetes. 🙂 Thanks for commenting. 

      Reply
  8. Sometimes I lose my calm hen my mom forgets the very little obvious things.  do always go nuts on it when I noticed she isn’t getting n par with whatever I am doing or she isn’t getting them right. Though I figured out that there is actually something to it but I just couldn’t figure out that it is this massive. Now I have to force her to seeing a doctor. Great post here and to also make use of all I have read here in dealing with her since it is so obvious she suffers from MCI. Thanks

    Reply
    • I’m glad this helped you see there is a medical condition. A doctor can rule out other health problems that also affect the brain. Good luck to you and her!

      Reply
  9. Yeah, my mum has been having some symptoms of this but she is old so it might not be what you say. Her memory loss is not so serious though but it is quite noticeable. I have always liked to attribute it to old age though. I think i need to show this to her so she can maybe change her lifestyle. It will be really great to help her. Thank you for sharing this post that you have shared with me. I have learnt from it.

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading, John. I bet there is more to her memory loss than just ‘old age’. There is usually a reason behind it. Since most people are deficient in some key nutrients, it’s just worse when people get older after years of being depleted. I suggest the Turmeric and Magnesium articles as well as seeing the doctor.

      Reply

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