THURSDAY, Dec. 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Almost half of those with incident mild cognitive impairment (MCI) diagnoses are classified as cognitively normal after an average of 2.4 years of follow-up, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in Neurology.

Milou J. Angevaare, M.D., from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues examined sociodemographic and medical predictors of incident MCI and the subsequent course of MCI at follow-up within a community-based cohort.

The researchers found that 752 of 2,903 cognitively normal participants at baseline developed MCI during an average of 6.3 years (incidence rate, 56/1,000 person-years). An increased risk for incident MCI was seen in association with the presence of APOE ε4 and higher medical burden, while the risk was reduced with more years of education, more leisure activities, and higher income. After an average of 2.4 years of follow-up, 12.9 percent of the incident MCI cases progressed to dementia, 9.6 percent declined in functioning but did not meet the algorithmic criteria for MCI or the clinical criteria for dementia, and 29.6 and 47.9 percent continued to meet and no longer met MCI criteria, respectively. The risk for progression to dementia was increased in association with multidomain MCI, the presence of APOE ε4, depressive symptoms, and antidepressant use.

“These results will help us to better understand who is at high risk for dementia so we can identify people for prevention strategies or intervention methods,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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