New research reported today in Paris at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2011 (AAIC 2011) offers insight on the global incidence and prevalence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) - a condition involving problems with memory or another mental function severe enough to be noticeable to the affected person or to others but not serious enough to interfere with daily life. The research also identifies the conditions that most accurately predict progression from MCI to Alzheimer's disease.
This global perspective on MCI - offered for the first time at AAIC 2011 - includes data from six countries: the USA, Australia, Germany, the UK, Sweden and France.
MCI often - but no inevitably - leads to Alzheimer's disease. As a result of the growing global Alzheimer's epidemic, MCI is receiving increasing attention as the first clinical presentation of Alzheimer's and a potentially pivotal opportunity for intervention. Recently published National Institute on Aing/Alzheimer's Association diagnostic guidelines and criteria - which address pre-clinical Alzheimer's, MCI due to Alzheimer's and Alzheimer's disease dementia - recognize MCI as a critical stage in the Alzheimer's continuum.
"The earlier in the disease process that people at risk for developing Alzheimer's are identified, the sooner we can intervene," said William Thies, Ph.D., Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at the Alzheimer's Association. "Earlier detection will be our best opportunity to prevent continuing damage to the brain, once more effective therapies are developed."
"Understanding MCI is a key to this endeavor. it has become increasingly important for us to understand how prevalent MCI is throughout the world and how it varies from country to country. These six new studies explore and examine the similarities and differences around the globe," Thies added.