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Commentary

  • Serge Gauthier (a1)

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The current debate about Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is useful in bringing forward for first-line clinicians, as well as clinical researchers, the importance of paying attention to cognitive complaints in aging individuals. Clearly (and thankfully) not all will progress to dementia. Furthermore, many can be helped by primary care practitioners through a basic clinical assessment and treatment of one of the many conditions potentially associated with mild cognitive complaints, such as depression, hypothyroidism, side-effects of anticholinergic drugs, alcohol abuse, nutritional deficiency, sleep apnea. Many times the cognitive complaints will be reversible. In some cases the symptoms will persist or increase over time, and a yearly follow-up and/or a referral to a specialized setting are appropriate, since there is a higher risk of progression to dementia in such individuals, particularly towards Alzheimer's disease (AD).

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