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Is Mild Cognitive Impairment Reversible?

0 2 years ago

A high level of education, superior academic performance and excellent written language skills may predict the reversal of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to normal cognitive function, new research shows.

Investigators found individuals with these factors, which are all markers of cognitive reserve, had a significantly greater chance of reversion from MCI to normal cognition (NC) than progression from MCI to dementia.

In a cohort study of more than 600 women age 75 years or older, about a third of those with MCI reverted to NC at some point during follow-up, which sends “an encouraging message,” study author Suzanne Tyas, PhD, associate professor, School of Public Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, told Medscape Medical News.

“That’s a positive thing for people to keep in mind when they’re thinking about prognosis. Some of these novel characteristics we’ve identified might be useful in thinking about how likely a particular patient might be to improve versus decline cognitively,” Tyas added.

The findings were published online February 4 in the journal Neurology.

Highly Educated Cohort

As the population ages, the number of individuals experiencing age-related conditions, including dementia, increases. There is no cure for most dementia types so prevention is key — and preventing dementia requires understanding its risk factors, Tyas noted.

The analysis included participants from the Nun Study, a longitudinal study of aging and cognition among members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in the United States. All were 75 and older at baseline, which was from 1991 to 1993; about 14.5% were older than 90 years.

Participants were generally highly educated, with 84.5% attaining an undergraduate or graduate degree. They also had a similar socioeconomic status, level of social supports, marital and reproductive history, and alcohol and tobacco use.


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