Losing the ability to recall can be one of the earliest indicators of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related illnesses.
However, despite the prevalence of dementia cases nationally and around the globe, there is a disproportionately low number of people who can recognize the earliest signs of cognitive impairment when it is critical to do so.
Mild Cognitive Impairment, also known as MCI, is one of the first steps in the development of dementia or Alzheimer’s. This stage is in between normal aging and cognitive decline, which can lead to dementia and the associated complications of memory loss, confusion and impairment of thought and judgment.
Understanding the early stages of illness is vitally important information for people to be familiar with, especially in cases that are likely to lead to serious cognitive impairment down the road. Yet, a new report issued by the Alzheimer’s Association indicates that a very small percentage of people are aware of MCI. Supporting this finding, the Southern Arizona Community Alzheimer’s Association said that more than two in five Americans report they have never heard of MCI.
For perspective, consider that about 80 percent of the general population is not knowledgeable about MCI even though 18 percent of adults over the age of 60 are living with it. Numbers like this explain why the organization wants to do as much as possible to inform people about every step of the disease. Because of this, experts in Arizona are working to bridge the gap of understanding through education.
It is wonderful this effort is taking place in Arizona! As we continue to find cures and explanations for Alzheimer’s and the many causes of dementia symptoms, it is important that we all become Dementia Aware. Learn more here.