Understanding Mild Cognitive Impairment by David Bardsley

MCI is a decrease in overall cognitive function [memory, language, reasoning, judgment etc] beyond what you would expect in an otherwise healthy aging adult.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 50% of the population show some initial symptoms of MCI by age 40. This does not mean that 50% of the population has diagnosable MCI, but that 50% show some of the initial signs.

Not all cases of MCI progress to more severe forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s but 100% of all cases of severe dementia and Alzheimer’s started as mild cognitive impairment. MCI can usually be reversed; dementia cannot.

Symptoms:  We all experience these symptoms from time to time. The red flag is: are they occurring to you with increasing frequency?

  1. We forget objects more frequently; keys, phones, glasses, cars. How often do you call your cell phone to find out where it is? We do not see many 20-year-olds wandering around the parking lot of a shopping mall or supermarket looking for their car, do we?

  2. We forget important events, such as appointments, meeting, names, faces, songs. Do you find yourself saying; “ I am so sorry; I completely forgot” or “It’s on the tip of my tongue”; with increasing frequency.

  3. We lose our train of thought; in a book, movie or conversation. How often do you go completely blank in the middle of a conversation?

  4. We feel completely overwhelmed by making decisions, planning steps to accomplish a task or interrupting instructions. Things we used to do with ease.

  5. We have trouble finding our way around familiar environments. Perhaps it is a store or restaurant we have been to before but we cannot find our way back. This often results in considerable spousal discord.

  6. We cannot process the same amount of information as quickly as we once did so we make impulse decisions, which frequently turn out to be bad decisions.

  7. Friends and family notice these changes in us but we do not. MCI is often difficult to self-diagnose.

We all experience these occurrences from time to time. The question is; are they occurring to you with increasing frequency?  If you are not sure, ask those you trust and love. If so, it is time to start reversing MCI and increase your cognitive ability, regardless of age.

Whether in the boardroom, classroom or any area of life the ultimate competitive edge is to possess an "Optimum Intellect".

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