Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Mild cognitive impairment is an impairment of one's memory and thought process. It develops in old age after 65 years. It is not serious in nature and it does not interrupt the daily routine of the affected person. It brings changes in language, memory, thoughts of the affected person. Normally, these changes do not get worse and get better on its own. Your physician measures its intensity by cognitive tests. Only a few cases get complicated into dementia, Alzheimer‘s disease, and other neurological disorders.

Can Mild Cognitive Impairment Go Away On Its Own?

Mild cognitive impairment is a slow loss of memory and one's ability to think. It is noticeable to the patient himself, his family and friends. It creates problems related to language, thinking, memory and judgment. These impairments of one's memory, language, thinking, and judgment are faster than normal age-related changes. It is not a serious condition to influence one's normal daily life and independent function. It affects 15- 20 % of old people above the age of 65 years. Normally, these changes do not get worse and get better on its own. Only a few cases of mild cognitive impairment may transform into dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and other neurological problems.

Mild cognitive impairment cannot be cured by the single method of treatment and there is no guarantee that it would not come back. However, some cases of mild cognitive impairment can go away on their own. Such cases appear suddenly and disappear eventually. The main aim of treatment in such cases is to rehabilitate and management of their symptoms.

Symptoms Of Mild Cognitive Impairment

There are some changes in the behavior of a person with mild cognitive impairment. They are noticeable to the patient himself, his family members and his close friends.

These changes are-

  • He forgets important dates, details, events, location, even names.
  • He misses words while speaking in the middle of a conversation.
  • He keeps things in one place, searches them in another.
  • He is always anxious about trifle matters.
  • He does not understand instructions and seek the help of others to respond to an instruction.
  • His thoughts are wandering; he cannot focus on a single thing at a time.
  • He cannot plan his work with good judgment.

There are two categories of symptoms –

Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment - the problems of cognitive behavior are related to memory, it is called amnestic mild cognitive impairment. For example, remembering important dates, location, events, etc. appears difficult for its patient. He even forgets the name of his best friend.

Nonamnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment - in this type of mild cognitive impairment, problems with cognitive behavior related to thought process like planning or organizing a task where there is a requirement of good judgment.

Both types can be seen in the same person at the same time.

Causes Of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Mild cognitive impairment has no clear causes. Scientific studies say that damage to brain cells can cause mild cognitive impairment. These are similar to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological problems. Brain cells are damaged by following –

  • Presence of Lewy bodies
  • Disturbed blood flow to the brain
  • Frequent small strokes
  • Shrinking of the hippocampus that are linked with memory
  • Enlarged ventricles
  • Accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques
  • Diminished use of glucose in the areas that control thinking areas

Risk Factors For Mild Cognitive Impairment

  • Old age
  • Genes that cause Alzheimer’s disease
  • Unhealthy lifestyle
  • Lack of physical or mental activities
  • Stress
  • depression
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure

Complications Of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Although mild cognitive impairment does not cause serious health problems that can influence a person‘s normal daily routine. But, few cases can complicate into clinical dementia, Alzheimer‘s disease, and other neurological problems.

Conclusion

Mild cognitive impairment is a disorder represented by a gradual decline of cognitive function of a person. This person cannot think properly and recall his memory back. Mild cognitive impairment requires treatment. Some of its cases can go on their own without treatment. But, it doesn’t happen in every case.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: January 11, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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