Mild cognitive impairment

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a term used to describe early memory and thinking problems in older people. It is not a type of dementia.

There is no sure-fire way to prevent MCI, and research is underway to learn more about the risk factors for the condition. However there are steps we can take to keep our brains as healthy as possible. These can help reduce the risk of dementia and may also reduce the likelihood of developing MCI. These include:

  • not smoking
  • staying mentally and physically active
  • eating healthily
  • limiting the amount of alcohol we drink
  • keeping blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels in check.

Further information about the risk factors for dementia can be found on our ‘Reducing the risk’ pages.

This information was updated in November 2019 and is due to be reviewed in November 2021. Please contact us if you would like a version with references.

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