Dementia Risk Quadrupled in People with Mild Cognitive Impairment

Dementia Risk Quadrupled in People with Mild Cognitive Impairment In a long-term, large-scale population-based study of individuals aged 55 years or older in the general population researchers found that those diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) had a four-fold increased risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer‰Ûªs disease (AD) compared to cognitively healthy individuals. Several risk factors including older age, positive APOE-ƒÝ4 status, low total cholesterol levels, and stroke, as well as specific MRI findings were associated with an increased risk of developing MCI. ‰ÛÏMild cognitive impairment has been identified as the transitional stage between normal aging and dementia,‰Û comments M. Arfan Ikram, MD, PhD, a neuroepidemiologist at Erasmus MC University Medical Center (Rotterdam). ‰ÛÏIdentifying persons at a higher risk of dementia could postpone or even prevent dementia by timely targeting modifiable risk factors.‰Û To be diagnosed with MCI in the study, individuals were required to meet three criteria: a self-reported awareness of having problems with memory or everyday functioning; deficits detected on a battery of cognitive tests; and no evidence of dementia. They were categorized into those with memory problems (amnestic MCI) and those with normal memory (non-amnestic MCI). Of 4,198 persons found to be eligible for the study, almost 10% were diagnosed with MCI.