Risk factors are things that change our likelihood of developing a disease.

Factors that may increase our chances of developing MCI include age, genetics, lifestyle, and other health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and stroke. These risk factors are also the same for the development of dementia.

While there is no sure-fire way to prevent MCI, there are steps we can take to keep our brains as healthy as possible. These can help reduce the risk of MCI and dementia too.

These include:

  • not smoking
  • doing regular physical activity
  • staying mentally and socially active
  • eating a healthy balanced diet
  • limiting the amount of alcohol we drink
  • keeping blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels in check.

You can find more information about reducing your risk of dementia here.

You can also find more information about steps we can all take to improve our brain health on our Think Brain Health hub.

What is mild cognitive impairment?

This introductory leaflet aims to help you understand mild cognitive impairment. It’s for anyone who might be worried about their own or someone else’s memory.

MCI front cover
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Order health information

Alzheimer’s Research UK has a wide range of information about dementia. Order booklets or download them from our online form.

This information was updated in November 2023 and is due to be reviewed in November 2025. It was written by Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Information Services team with input from lay and expert reviewers.

Our information does not replace advice that doctors, pharmacists, or nurses may give you.


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