Mild Cognitive Impairment
The practical construct of the term mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a relatively new concept that has been under intense investigation by academic groups in Canada and the United States and in France, England, and Sweden. MCI can be described as the “intermediate state of cognitive functioning in which the decline from a previously higher level has occurred which is not severe enough to fulfill the criteria of dementia.” The cognitive impairment and its interference with activities of daily living are not of sufficient severity for a diagnosis of dementia to be made. One of the unresolved questions is what type of memory impairment is the earliest manifestation of MCI. There are data suggesting that cognitive and behavioral disorders are underdiagnosed in primary care. In spite of the prominent role of geriatric medicine, memory difficulties and dementia are still considered to be a “natural’ consequence of aging.