Mild Cognitive Impairment
Mild cognitive impairment is an intermediate stage between normal age related memory difficulty and dementia. The diagnosis is made when a person has the following findings:
Problems with memory, such as forgetfulness.
Observed impairment on memory testing.
Diminished independence in activities of daily living with only mild difficulty in completing more complex tasks such as paying bills.
No significant impairment in social or occupational functioning.
Patients who are diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment have an increased likelihood of developing dementia within 6 years as compared to normal age related cognitive impairment. This impairment can be from a degenerative cause and non- degenerative cause. It is important to note that non-degenerative causes can be reversible, and therefore important to be properly evaluated if any suspected impairment.
Parkinson Disease is what they call a neurodegenerative disease meaning that it causes damage to normal brain tissues leading to the symptoms including resting tremor, rigidity, gait/postural impairment, behavioral changes, and bradykinesia. Parkinson Disease in particular is slowly progressive and patients are noted to have gradual loss of dopamine- producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called the substantia nigra. The diagnosis is made by examination by a physician who evaluates for the presence of bradykinesia along with at least one of the other mentioned features above. As for treatment, currently medications are available to help with symptoms but no medication is proven to slow progression.