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Book provides readers with tools to identify MCI

September 11, 2012

Many people are familiar with the challenges Alzheimer's disease presents, but few may be aware of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Typically characterized by lapses in memory, MCI affects between 10 and 15 percent of adults over 65 and is often associated as a first step in the development of Alzheimer's and dementia, The New York Times reports.

Despite the prevalence of the condition, and the fact that it could be a sign of more serious medical issues, many people may not recognize it as anything more than age-related change in memory. In fact, there are only five programs around the globe aimed at making MCI detection part of a healthy lifestyle for seniors, researchers say.

In an effort to raise awareness of the presence of MCI, a group of scientists from the University of Toronto have penned the recently-published "Living With Mild Cognitive Impairment." One of the main goals of the book is to inform the public of what signs they should look out for.

"Repeatedly asking questions or making the same comments," author Nicole Anderson told the Times. "Getting lost in a place that you're familiar with. Forgetting an important event - say, a big meeting coming up - when that's not something you would have done before."

With the ability to recognize the signs of MCI, the authors hope the readers will be able to know the best ways to prevent MCI from developing into Alzheimer's or dementia, or at the very least slowing its progression.

There have been a number of lifestyle changes associated with lowering one's Alzheimer's risk, including making healthy dietary choices. Eating nuts, tomatoes, fish, poultry and dark, leafy green vegetables are all associated with lowered Alzheimer's risk, according to ABC News.