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Cognitive Impairment, No Dementia: Concepts and Issues

  • Holly A. Tuokko (a1), Robert J. Frerichs (a1) and Betsy Kristjansson (a2)


This article reviews the concept of mild cognitive impairment in groups of people whose cognitive impairment does not warrant a diagnosis of dementia (cognitive impairment, no dementia; CIND). Problems with the application of existing sets of criteria to the Canadian Study of Health and Aging (CSHA) data sets are addressed and a procedure for identifying a subgroup presumed “at risk” for developing dementia is presented. Application of an informant's report of changes in cognitive functioning and neuropsychologists' ratings of mild to severe deficits in any of eight cognitive domains results in approximately half of the CIND cases being identified as “at risk.” The rationale for the collection of specific information related to CIND in CSHA-2 is provided. A minority of people identified with CIND at CSHA-2 showed only memory impairment, and most demonstrated cognitive loss over the preceding five-year interval. This article provides a conceptual basis for procedures to identify people with cognitive impairment most likely to decline to dementia.



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