Home | News | Events | Press | Contact  

About UseNewsletterMessage BoardsAction CenterAdvocateWalk to End Alzheimer’sShopDonate

Find your chapter:

search by state

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
Text Size controlsNormal font sizeMedium font sizeLarge font size

Key features

  • Report of difficulty with memory or another core cognitive domain, preferably corroborated by an informant. Deficits relative to norms for age and education are objectively evident on a mental status exam or neuropsychological testing.

  • Normal overall cognition.

  • Generally intact function in usual daily activities.

  • The most common type is “amnestic MCI,” involving a primary memory complaint.

  • Older adults with MCI progress to dementia at a higher rate than those with no impairment, but progression is not inevitable. Rates of progression have varied considerably in different studies.


  • No treatments for MCI have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    Results of a large, federally funded trial showed that 10 milligrams of donepezil (Aricept) daily reduced the risk of progressing from amnestic MCI to Alzheimer’s disease for about a year, but the benefit disappeared within three years.

    The study’s principal investigators said the results were not strong enough to clearly recommend donepezil as a treatment for MCI. However, it might be reasonable for patients and their physicians to talk about the possible benefits and risks of such treatment on an individual basis.

Pathological substrate

Scientists have not completely characterized this disorder. Amnestic MCI may be a forerunner of Alzheimer’s disease. Yet mild memory impairments could also be associated with preclinical signs of any dementing illness.

Studies have found that individuals diagnosed with amnestic MCI had some type of abnormality affecting key memory regions, and most seemed to be on their way toward meeting standards for Alzheimer’s. Most also had evidence of other abnormalities in addition to the characteristic plaques and tangles of Alzheimer’s disease.

For your patients and families: Mild Cognitive Impairment


Join or start a team today.

Find a Walk

Washington Alaska Texas Washington Oregon California Idaho Nevada Arizona Utah Montana Wyoming Colorado New Mexico Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska South Dakota North Dakota Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Mississippi Illinois Wisconsin Michigan Indiana Kentucky Tennessee Alabama Florida Georgia South Carolina North Carolina Virginia West Virginia Ohio Maine Pennsylvania New York Vermont New Hampshire Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New Jersey onClick= Delaware Maryland Hawaii Vermont New Hampshire Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Maryland Washington D.C.
Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.