Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the focus of intense research interest as regards the early detection and treatment of Alzheimer disease (AD). Although MCI can be a heterogeneous condition and may have static or even reversible causes, the memory-predominant subtype, amnestic MCI, is viewed as an important risk factor or prodrome for AD. The characterization of amnestic MCI in large part comes from the seminal work of Petersen and colleagues,1 who propose that it does not constitute dementia but instead is a transitional stage between normal aging and AD. Based on this premise, clinical trials of AD treatments have been conducted in individuals with MCI to evaluate whether the conversion to AD can be prevented or delayed.2
Morris JC. Mild Cognitive Impairment Is Early-Stage Alzheimer Disease: Time to Revise Diagnostic Criteria. Arch Neurol. 2006;63(1):15–16. doi:10.1001/archneur.63.1.15
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