Background: Memory impairment has been proposed as the most common early sign of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The aims of this work were to evaluate the risk of progression from mild memory impairment/no dementia (MMI/ND) to clinically diagnosable AD in a community-based prospective cohort and to establish the risk factors for progression from MMI/ND to AD in the elderly.
Methods: Elderly subjects aged over 65 years were selected from the participants in the first Nakayama study. MMI/ND was defined as memory deficit on objective memory assessment, without dementia, impairment of general cognitive function, or disability in activities of daily living. A total of 104 MMI/ND subjects selected from 1242 community-dwellers were followed longitudinally for five years.
Results: During the five-year follow-up, 11 (10.6%) subjects were diagnosed with AD, five (4.8%) with vascular dementia (VaD), and six (5.8%) with dementia of other etiology. Logistic regression analysis revealed that diabetes mellitus (DM) and a family history of dementia (within third-degree relatives) were positively associated with progression to AD, while no factor was significantly associated with progression to VaD or all types of dementia.
Conclusions: DM and a family history of dementia were significant risk factors for progression from MMI/ND to clinically diagnosable AD in the elderly in a Japanese community.