Mild Cognitive Impairment (LBC) is a transitional state between cognitive changes in normal aging and an early stage of dementia.Today, this deficit is already recognized as a pathological condition and more like a normal process associated with age.
More concretely, it is used specifically to refer to a group of individuals who have a certain degree of cognitive impairment. The severity of this deficiency, however, is insufficient to establish a diagnosis of dementia.To differentiate mild cognitive impairment from dementia, we must pay attention to the daily limitations caused to the person.
But how can we detect this onset of dementia?What are the main symptoms of mild cognitive impairment?Why does this disorder appear? Here are the questions we will try to answer in this article.
Why does mild cognitive impairment appear?
The widening of the population pyramid at the level of the oldest strata, favored by a greater life expectancy, makes the number of people affected by cognitive impairments and possible dementia syndromes increases. This is interesting, especially if we take into account the fact thatadvanced age is a key risk factor for the development of this pathology.
Other socio-demographic studies have founda greater prevalence of this deficit among women aged 71 to 80 years.It is found more particularly in married women who have almost no schooling. Although this does not mean that there is a causal relationship between being a woman and suffering from mild cognitive impairment, of course.
Otherwise,the causes of this disorder are still unknown and researchers continue to study itto answer questions that remain unresolved.
What are the symptoms of mild cognitive impairment?
Patients with mild cognitive impairment are primarily impaired in memory, particularly episodic memory.They are therefore aware of their deficits. Various studies have also shown that the commitment of episodic memory is a sign announcing Alzheimer's disease within 1-7 years of initial evaluation.
Other cognitive disorders such as language difficulties (difficulties in finding the desired word), attention (difficulty concentrating or following a conversation) and visuospatial skills (difficulty in getting to familiar places) ) could also configure a specific type of mild cognitive impairment.
In addition, psychological and behavioral symptoms are also common.They may include hallucinations, agitation, aggression and depressed mood, among others. The presence of these symptoms may cause the cognitive deficit to develop more rapidly. The quality of life of the patient and his caregivers will therefore be negatively affected.
To summarize,the criteria for mild cognitive impairment would be:
- A concern about a change in the patient's cognition
- An alteration in one or more cognitive functions (memory, executive function, attention, language, visuospatial skills)
- Independence in functional skills,even if the person makes mistakes or takes longer to complete the most complex tasks (for example, paying bills, shopping …)
- Do not show signs of dementia
Is there a treatment for themild cognitive deficit?
At first, if a slight cognitive deficit is suspected, the most important thing is to go see your doctor.Proper assessment can prevent the development of the disorder or at least slow it down. Moreover, it is essential to see if this deficit is the consequence of a specific brain damage, such as a cerebrovascular accident. After the assessment, and if the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment is confirmed, an intervention should be planned.
In recent years, several studies have been conducted. In the latter, the same drugs were used as for Alzheimer's disease. The majority of this research tells us that this type of treatment is not effectiveto curb the progress of mild cognitive impairment.
With regard to the non-pharmacological approach,It has been observed that cognitive interventions may be more effective in improving memory, performing daily activities, and improving mood.These cognitive interventions include cognitive training programs, cognitive stimulation, and cognitive rehabilitation.Other studies have also shown that exercise would have a positive effect on Alzheimer's dementia or DCL.
To conclude, although there is not always an intervention that can prevent the deficit we are talking about, we know that a lot of research is being done on this topic. All hope is allowed. Until we find new forms of intervention,the most important thing is to act quickly and promote protective factors so that the disease does not progress and does not further limit patients.