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What Is The Major Cause Of Mild Cognitive Impairment?

Mild cognitive impairment is the condition characterized by mild issues related to memory, language, thinking and logical decision making, although the condition is in the middle of the cognitive decline with aging and severe dementia due to disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.[1]

What Is The Major Cause Of Mild Cognitive Impairment?

What Is The Major Cause Of Mild Cognitive Impairment?

There are various causes associated with the development of mild cognitive impairment and all or some of those factors are responsible for causing mild cognitive impairment in a particular patient. Factor that reduces the cognitive function and develops mild dementia is the cause for mild cognitive impairment. However, in the majority of the cases, neurological abnormalities are largely responsible for mild cognitive impairment. As the condition is directly related to the brain and nervous system, any abnormality in this system has a direct implication on the memory and functional capacity. Various neurological factors responsible for mild cognitive impairment include hippocampal atrophy, ventricular enlargement, poor emotional health, and mental trauma.[2]

Causes Of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Mild cognitive impairment is the condition in which there is very mild but measurable cognitive impairment. There are various causes of mild cognitive impairment and the symptoms of each case vary. The symptoms depend upon the site of the problem in the brain.[3] Following are the causes of mild cognitive impairment.

Reduced Blood Flow. Blood flow in the brain is responsible for delivering nutrients in the brain. When this blood flow gets reduced due to any reason, the energy produced in the brain gets reduced. This results in low brain activity leading to mild cognitive impairment.

Abnormal Clumps. Various abnormal clumps develop in the brain. Clumps may be formed due to the aggregation of beta-amyloid protein which forms the plaque. Another substance that can form the clogging is microscopic proteins which are also seen in Alzheimer’s disease.[4]

Lewy Bodies. Lewy bodies are the abnormal aggregation of proteins. This aggregation occurs inside the nerves leading to poor functioning of the nerves. This is generally associated with the development of Parkinson’s disease and also causes dementia in mild cognitive impairment.[5]

Shrinkage Of Brain Parts. The shrinking of brain parts is calculated by the automatic process known as Volumetric MRI. This technique measures the size of the memory centers in the brain and analyzes the progression of mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease. This method is used to analyze the atrophy of the brain and help evaluate the cognitive decline in mild cognitive impairment conditions. Hippocampal atrophy is one of the primary reasons for mild cognitive impairment.[6]

Enlargement Of Brain Parts. Enlargement of various brain chambers also causes mild cognitive impairment. Ventricular enlargement causes mild cognitive impairment which may progress to Parkinson’s disease. Ventricular enlargement causes cognitive decline and mild dementia.

Insulin Resistance Cells Of The Brain. For proper functioning of brain cells or neurons, it is essential that the sugar from the blood is used by these cells for energy. But due to insulin resistance, the sugar from blood is not used leading to energy starving condition, this result in reduced brain activity causing mild cognitive impairment.

Emotional Health. The patients with poor emotional health are at higher risk of developing mild cognitive impairment.[7] Such patients have poorly managed anger, anxiety, and depression.

Other Medical Conditions. Various medical conditions present in the patient are also responsible for mild cognitive impairment. These conditions include hypothyroidism and diabetes.

Aging. Aging is said to be an important reason for mild cognitive impairment. As the age progresses the activity of the neurons decline leading to mild cognitive impairment symptoms such as cognitive decline and dementia. Cognitive decline in some patient develops disproportionately to age.

Mental Trauma. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder may result in the development of mild cognitive impairment symptoms such as cognitive decline and mild dementia.[8]


Causes for mild cognitive impairment are mostly neurological. These include shrinkage of the memory centers, enlargement of the brain, mental trauma, and poor emotional health. Factors other than neurological include other medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and diabetes as well as reduced blood flow.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 29, 2022

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