Some forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging. However, some people have more memory problems than other people their age. This condition is called mild cognitive impairment, or MCI. People with MCI can take care of themselves and do their normal activities.
MCI memory problems may include
- Losing things often
- Forgetting to go to events and appointments
- Having more trouble coming up with words than other people of the same age
Memory problems can also have other causes, including certain medicines and diseases that affect the blood vessels that supply the brain. Some of the problems brought on by these conditions can be managed or reversed.
Your health care provider can do thinking, memory, and language tests to see if you have MCI. You may also need to see a specialist for more tests. Because MCI may be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease, it's really important to see your health care provider every 6 to 12 months.
At this time, there is no proven drug treatment for MCI. Your health care provider can check to see if you have any changes in your memory or thinking skills over time.
NIH: National Institute on Aging
- Brain Gains for Older Adults Who Start Exercising (11/30/2015, HealthDay)
Diagnosis and Tests
- Screening for Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) - PDF
- Mild Cognitive Impairment: What Do We Do Now? (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Center for Gerontology) - PDF
- Folic Acid Supplements: Can They Slow Cognitive Decline? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Statistics and Research
- Increased Brain Activity May Compensate for Amyloid Pathology in Older Brains (National Institute on Aging)
- Mild Cognitive Impairment and Progession to Dementia: New Findings (American Academy of Neurology) - PDF
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Mild Cognitive Impairment (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Association Between Angiotensin Receptor Blockers and Longitudinal Decline in Tau...
- Article: Genome instability biomarkers and blood micronutrient risk profiles associated with...
- Article: Comparison of Visual and Quantitative Florbetapir F 18 Positron Emission...
- Mild Cognitive Impairment -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Available in Spanish
- National Institute on Aging Available in Spanish