Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)

Learn more about mild cognitive impairment

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition in which someone has minor problems with cognition - their mental abilities such as memory or thinking. In MCI these difficulties are worse than would normally be expected for a healthy person of their age. However, the symptoms are not severe enough to interfere significantly with daily life, and so are not defined as dementia.

It is estimated that between 5 and 20 per cent of people aged over 65 have MCI. It is not a type of dementia, but a person with MCI is more likely to go on to develop dementia. This page explains what MCI is, the link between MCI and dementia, and the benefits of diagnosing MCI. It then looks at treatments for MCI, ways to cope with the symptoms, and how you can reduce your risk of developing MCI and dementia. Many people who are diagnosed with MCI use this as an opportunity to change their lifestyle for the better. There is a lot that someone can do to help reduce their chances of MCI progressing to dementia.