In its most common form, called amnestic, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) involves memory problems relating to important information (not simply misplacing keys) in the absence of other cognitive problems associated with dementia, such as disorientation or confusion about daily activities. (A less common form of MCI doesn’t involve memory but rather cognitive abilities such as language or executive function.) Most people with MCI can live independently with minimal assistance.
You may have MCI if:
- You or a friend, family member, or doctor are concerned about a change in your cognitive abilities.
- You have greater difficulty in one or more cognitive areas—such as memory, attention, and language—than would be expected for your age or educational background.
- You have trouble with complex tasks such as paying bills, preparing a meal, or shopping. You may take more time, be less efficient, and make more mistakes than in the past.
- Your ability to function socially or occupationally is minimally impaired.
- There’s objective evidence of progressive cognitive decline over time. Professional cognitive testing can assess the degree of impairment and the likelihood of further progression in the next few years.