The Early Signs of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Difficulties in performing more challenging cognitive tasks, such as managing one's finances and medications, preparing meals and traveling independently, could be early warning signs that indicate the presence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), according to researchers. Other more basic and well-rehearsed daily tasks, such as bathing, grooming, and dressing, can also decline in patients with MCI, but to a lesser extent.

MCI is a term described as a subtle decline in thinking abilities. A person who suffers from MCI may experience memory problems greater than normally expected with aging, but he or she does not show other symptoms of dementia, such as impaired judgment or reasoning.

Little research has been conducted on whether well-rehearsed activities of daily living, known as ADLs (feeding, dressing, grooming, walking, bathing and toileting) and instrumental activities of daily living, known as IADLs, (laundry, shopping, transportation, driving, meal preparation, managing medications and finances) are compromised early in the disease process.

Getting older doesn't mean giving up your mind. Don't forget one of the primary influences on aging is high insulin levels. So minimize the amount of sugar and grains you consume to maintain a minimum insulin level. Also, exercise is profoundly beneficial in this respect as it another potent influence that will lower insulin levels.

EurekAlert July 18, 2004

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