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Thursday, 26 October 2017

Mild Cognitive Impairment: the facts

Did you know that EARLY identification of mild cognitive impairment can prolong the working life of older people and improve their quality of life?

With an ageing demographic and the increase of retirement age, there is a real amplified risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment within the working population.  So, what does this mean for employers?

Let us start with the facts – Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is a set of symptoms as opposed to a specific medical condition or disease – though the risk of developing dementia is higher which in turn moves the patient into a different medical category.

MCI symptoms can start subtly with one or more of the following problems:
·         Memory retention day-to-day
·         Planning
·         Language
·         Attention and
·         Visuospatial skills

To be diagnosed with MCI the symptoms must have a noticeable change from the previous levels of functioning, and will often be recognised by the individual affected.

Though some of the problems will not usually interfere with your daily routine they can pose a risk of failing performance, judgement or making decisions which will have an impact on those working.

Though MCI is often attributed to the increase of age there are other factors to consider that may result in an individual younger than the “norm” developing Cognitive Problems.  These include:
·         Disturbance of sleep can have a negative impact on cognitive function
·         Depression, anxiety or stress can have a negative impact on cognitive function
·         Alcohol abuse
·         Drug Abuse
·         Some medications can cause cognitive disfunction
·         People with thyroid problems
·         Head trauma – which in my case was the cause of my MCI

In some older people, MCI can often be a sign of complications such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. It is speculated that around 70% of people with MCI will develop dementia but it is important to note that not everyone with MCI will deteriorate.  Many people remain stable and some people have been known to improve and no longer have any problems.  This just reflects the different causes and effects.

#MCI #dementia #awareness

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