What is mild cognitive impairment (MCI)?

Updated: Apr 22, 2019
  • Author: Sonal Mehta, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Various terms have been employed to characterize the cognitive decline associated with aging, including benign senescent forgetfulness, age-associated memory impairment, and age-associated cognitive decline. [8, 9, 10] The term mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is intended to represent an intermediate stage between normal aging and the development of pathologic aging and dementia (eg, malignant senescent forgetfulness [9] ).

Other terms with connotations similar to those of MCI include isolated memory impairment, incipient dementia, and dementia prodrome. However, these terms are not nearly as widely accepted as MCI and should not be considered exact synonyms.

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