Characterization and Differences Between Possible and Probable Mild Cognitive Impairment
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Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is the period of subtle cognitive decline that occurs between normal aging and clinical Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Patients' subjective memory complaints (SMCs) are essential to the diagnosis of MCI. In cases where memory complaints are not verifiable by objective measures, patients are left without a formal diagnosis of cognitive impairment. The current proposal describes a study designed to compare the cognitive features and risk factors of AD in subgroups of patients with SMCs with (Probable MCI) and without (Possible MCI) objective memory deficits in relation to controls. It is predicted that the Probable MCI group will demonstrate lower performance and have a greater decline on neuropsychological measures than patients diagnosed with Possible MCI, who will demonstrate lower performance and have a greater decline on those measures than controls. Also, it is predicted that Probable MCI patients will have greater incidence of vascular risk factors and presence of the apolipoprotein element 4 (APOE-4) allele than the Possible MCI patients, who will have higher incidence of these variables than controls. There is also a demographic analysis designed to identify any differences in age, education, and gender between the groups. Implications of possible outcomes of the study are then discussed.