Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) could be an auspicious candidate for an early marker of a beginning dementia.
However, although MCI is accepted as a heterogeneous condition by now, performance testing or diagnosis is often
based on a limited number of cognitive tests. Furthermore, there is still disagreement about the necessity to include subjective
cognitive complaints as a diagnostic criterion. The current study intends to examine the character of MCI when diagnosis
is based upon multiple cognitive domains and does not require the presence of subjective complaints. 130 subjects
from the HelMA (Helmholtz Alliance for Mental Health in an Ageing Society) longitudinal study completed a comprehensive
neuropsychological test-battery and were diagnosed as either normally-ageing controls or patients with MCI. The
prevalence rate of MCI was as high as 46.2%, hereby exceeding most estimates of other studies. Patients with MCI performed
worse than controls in each of the 29 administered tests with memory being the predominant impaired cognitive
domain. Surprisingly, there was no single patient with a purely non-amnestic impairment, considerably contradicting hitherto
existing studies. The rather different distribution of impairment and prevalence rate emphasizes the demand of testbatteries
including all cognitive domains so that inferences about MCI are as all-encompassing as possible.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, diagnosis, memory, mild cognitive impairment, neuropsychological assessment.
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport