Mild Cognitive Impairment
Friday, October 23, 2009

Mild cognitive impairment is a condition in which a person has problems with memory, language or another mental function. While it can be severe enough to be noticeable to other people and to show up on tests, in most cases it wonít interfere with daily life. Dr. Edward Hill discusses mild cognitive impairment in the 60 Second Housecall.

Concerns about memory or other cognitive problems are common among older adults. A mild cognitive problem is different from dementia, however.

Dementia is diagnosed only when both memory and another cognitive function are each affected severely enough to interfere with a personís ability to carry out routine daily activities.

Dementia is much more severe than a mild memory problem such as difficulty recalling names.

Some cognitive faculties decrease with normal aging but not enough to significantly affect daily activities. Early onset of Alzheimerís disease, strokes or other brain injury, central nervous system infections or excessive use of alcohol or other drugs could also affect cognitive function.

To help preserve cognitive function:

Eat a balanced diet

Do not smoke.

Exercise daily.

Engage in regular mental activity.

Visit often with family and friends.

And manage chronic illnesses, including depression, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.