What Is The Prognosis For Mild Cognitive Impairment?

Mild cognitive impairment is the condition symptomized by cognitive decline and mild memory problems. If the condition is not diagnosed early and the treatment is not initiated, it may lead to various complications. Although mild cognitive impairment may be stagnant for years, may return back to normal or may also progress into more severe form. Mild cognitive impairment may lead to dementia.

What Is The Prognosis For Mild Cognitive Impairment?

Mild cognitive impairment is a condition which may either be stagnant, may be reversed to normal or progresses into a much severe form. Amnestic mild cognitive impairment is the condition that affects the memory and the patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment are at higher risk of progression into Alzheimer’s disease. Non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment is the condition that affects the cognitive functions other than memory.

The patient with non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment is at higher risk of developing other forms of dementia such as Lewy body dementia. It has been found that the patient with amnestic mild cognitive impairment has 56% conversion rate to Alzheimer’s disease while the conversation rate of Alzheimer’s disease was 52% for Non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment. It has also been found that the patients with mild cognitive impairment are at 7 times risk of developing dementia as compared to other older people of a similar age.

Almost 75% to 80% of the patients develop dementia within 6 years from the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment. When the mild cognitive impairment progresses into Alzheimer’s disease, the prognosis is not good given the fact that Alzheimer’s disease is the fourth largest cause of death.

Complications Of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Dementia. Mild cognitive impairment is the condition just in the middle of cognitive dysfunction due to age and severe dementia. Thus, this is the condition with demonstrable dementia but does not fit in the criteria of dementia. If the condition of mild cognitive impairment is not managed at an early stage, it may lead to dementia.

Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder and the non-motor features of the disease include cognitive decline and dementia. Mild cognitive impairment if not managed through medication or other treatment strategies, it may progress in Parkinson’s disease. It has also been seen that the condition of mild cognitive impairment is common in early Parkinson’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease. Person with mild cognitive impairment are significantly at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The most common cause of dementia in old age is Alzheimer’s disease. The condition is characterized by the presence of plaques and tangles present in the nerves. Various tests including neuroimaging are conducted to evaluate the risk of progression of mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease in a particular patient.

Severe Cognitive Dysfunction. Mild cognitive impairment is the condition in which patient experience mild cognitive decline. However, the disease may be progressive and lead to severe cognitive dysfunction. In the condition of severe cognitive dysfunction, the ability of the patient in speaking, leaning and thinking is significantly compromised.

Delirium. Mild cognitive impairment may also result in delirium. Symptoms of delirium include confusion and disorientation. It is an acute condition which is characterized by disoriented behavior and reduced awareness. It is the condition which is more severe than mild cognitive impairment but less severe than dementia.

Social Isolations. One of the complications of mild cognitive impairment is social isolation. The patient with memory problems and neurological symptoms start isolating himself from society. This results in further increasing the severity of the disease.

Poor Emotional Health. Patients with mild cognitive impairment have poor emotional health. These patients are not able to handle emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression.

Conclusion

The person with mild cognitive impairment has a higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or other forms of dementia such as Lewy body dementia. If mild cognitive impairment progresses to Alzheimer’s disease, it has the poor prognosis. People with mild cognitive impairment has almost 55%-60% conversion rate for Alzheimer’s disease.

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