It’s time to know the symptoms of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition that can be mistaken for normal aging.

If you or a loved one is feeling forgetful, confused, or struggling to find the right words more often, it could be something serious like MCI. Although MCI is caused by many things, most commonly it is due to Alzheimer’s. The sooner you catch it, the sooner you can talk to your doctor about how to manage it.

Or scroll down to learn more about symptoms

What are the symptoms of MCI
due to Alzheimer’s?

If you or a loved one keep experiencing any of these symptoms and they get worse, consider talking to a doctor.

Memory Lapses
  • Forgetting things more often, including important appointments, social events, or names
  • Losing your train of thought or the thread of conversations, books, or movies
  • Having trouble finding your way to or around familiar places
  • Having difficulty finding the right word for something commonplace, saying the same thing over and over, or asking the same question multiple times  
Judgment or Decision-Making Difficulties
  • Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by making decisions, planning steps to accomplish tasks, or understanding instructions
Trouble With Familiar Tasks
  • Finding it hard to do familiar tasks, such as changing a lightbulb or fixing a simple meal
  • Having trouble judging distances or performing simple actions that require hand-eye coordination, such as fitting a key into a lock
Behavior or Mood Changes
  • Depression, irritability, impulsiveness, or anxiety—mood changes that aren’t typical for you

It’s possible you haven’t even noticed any of these changes because MCI affects short-term memory, making you less aware of them. If you or others are noticing these changes, consider discussing them with your doctor.

Get more details on the symptoms of MCI and its most common cause

starts earlier
you may think

It can begin up to 20 years before symptoms show up. 

According to an Alzheimer’s Association 2021 report, although it is hard to know how many people are in the MCI stage of Alzheimer’s, some early research suggests that it may be about 1 in 12 Americans 65 years and older.*

So, it’s important to talk to your doctor as soon as you notice anything of concern.

*According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report.