Monday, September 12, 2011

Sizable Minority of Seniors Have Mild Cognitive Impairment

Between 10 percent and 20 percent of Americans older than age 65 have mild cognitive impairment, the New York Times reported in a September 6 article. It may include lapses in name recall or word finding, trouble remembering appointments, difficulty paying bills, or losing one's train of thought. And it is often, although not always, a precursor to Alzheimer's disease.

But how many people with mild cognitive impairment will actually develop Alzheimer's within five years? More than half, Sylvia Belleville, Ph.D., director of the University of Montreal's Institute of Geriatrics, and colleagues found in a recently released study. And is there any way that those with mild cognitive impairment might be able to substantially lower their Alzheimer's risk? Although the jury is still out as far as memory training is concerned, Belleville and colleagues have found that memory training can in fact lead to brain activation in individuals with mild cognitive impairment, and especially in the hippocampus, the brain's memory center.

For more information on these findings by Belleville and her group, see Psychiatric News at

And for more information about Alzheimer's in general, see Let's Talk Facts About Alzheimer's Disease, from American Psychiatric Publishing. Purchasing information is posted at

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