Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) - also referred to as mild neurocognitive disorder - is a term for modest acquired cognitive deficits (usually with memory) that is more than expected for the person’s age but not enough for a diagnosis of dementia. The problems do not lead to a loss of independence though greater effort, compensatory strategies, or accommodation may be required for complex activities.
MCI affects 10-20% of persons 65 years of age and older. Those with MCI are at increased risk of a dementia compared to similarly aged individuals with normal cognition. Individuals with MCI should undergo an evaluation similar to what is done for suspected dementia in order to look for any underlying cause (e.g., depression, adverse drug effects). Patients with MCI should be followed because of their heightened risk of progression to dementia, but should not be labelled as having early Alzheimer's Disease, as the outcome for a given individual is not certain.