While there is no sure-fire way to prevent mild cognitive impairment, there are steps we can take to look after our brain health that may also help to reduce our risk.

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.

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.


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 2021 and is due to be reviewed in November 2023. 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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Dementia Research Infoline

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0300 111 5 111