What Is Mild Cognitive Impairment, And How Does It Differ From Regular Memory Loss?

Dr. Petersen answers the question: 'What Is Mild Cognitive Impairment?'

May 4, 2009 -- Question: What is mild cognitive impairment, and how does it differ from regular memory loss?

Answer: Mild cognitive impairment is felt to be a transitional stage between the cognitive changes -- meaning changes in memory and thinking of normal aging -- and the very earliest features of Alzheimer's disease. So, when a person forgets his or her car keys or reading glasses that's probably incidental forgetfulness of aging. However, when you start to forget doctor's appointments or recent visits of friends and relatives this might be more significant.

So, when a person's family starts to notice that the individual is forgetting more important information than they previously did, this may be of concern and may warrant an evaluation by your personal doctor.