Mild Cognitive Impairment

  • People with MCI have more memory problems than would be expected from someone at a similar age.
  • They are able to function independently and do not show other signs of dementia, such as impaired reasoning or judgment.
  • MCI does not always lead to dementia but in two-thirds of cases it does.


  • Many people with MCI are very aware of their memory problems and are often concerned that they have dementia. Knowing that they have MCI confirms to them that their memory concerns are valid and they can feel reassured to know that having MCI does not necessarily mean they will develop dementia.
  • Being aware of their increased risk of dementia also allows people with MCI to plan for the future – evaluate their support systems, address legal and financial issues.
  • There are no specific treatments available (ChEI’s are not recommended for MCI).
  • It is important to address risk factors; hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, smoking, and to encourage the person with MCI to engage in cognitive training and physical exercise.
  • Provide patient with PIL on Mild Cognitive Impairment (available below)

When to refer

  • Mild Cognitive Impairment is a difficult diagnosis to make
  • As part of a comprehensive work-up patients with MCI should have brain imaging and comprehensive standardised cognitive assessments.
  • We would, therefore, recommend getting specialist input from your local memory clinic, gerontologist, old age psychiatrist or neuologist.