Experts call for new consensus on Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)



Published on 17 November 2020, the Mild cognitive impairment: the Manchester consensus brings together expert views on how MCI should be recognised, diagnosed, and treated.

MCI is an umbrella term given to a noticeable and measurable change in a person’s memory or thinking, which does not interfere with activities of their daily life. Currently the syndrome is diagnosed based on symptoms alone. While around ten to 15 percent of those living with MCI go on to develop dementia per year, a significant proportion will remain stable or improve, making this confusing and challenging for patients and doctors alike.

Bringing together experts

This project began in November 2019 when four authors, including Professor Dag Aarsland who leads our Dementia and Related Disorders theme, convened a consensus meeting of researchers, clinicians and other stakeholders in Manchester. Their aim was to provide a roadmap for future clinical practice and translational research across the UK.

A year later, this new review lays out three key areas to consider for MCI.

  • MCI should be recognised as a clinical syndrome caused by different underlying diseases.
  • Clinicians should try their best to provide patients with an explanation for their symptoms. This will vary from patient to patient, but in many cases it may be appropriate to use scans, lumbar punctures and other tests to try and make as accurate and early diagnosis as possible.
  • There should be national guidance on dealing with MCI to provide consistency to clinicians and the patients they treat.

Professor Dag Aarsland said, “I’m proud to see our consensus on Mild Cognitive Impairment published. It was fantastic to collaborate with the NHS, universities, pharmaceutical organisations and charities. 

In the review we propose that diagnosing and subtyping MCI requires biomarker collection using either CFS or PET imaging. We are confident that this will lead to more accurate diagnosis and better outcomes for people experiencing MCI.”

Any future treatments are likely to need to be given early in the disease process, making a strategy for dealing with MCI even more important.

Professor Jonathan Schott, Chief Medical Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, and an author of the report said:

“We know that there is huge variability in how frequently MCI is diagnosed across the country and whether or not people with MCI undergo further investigations to try and identify its cause.

We know that over 50% of people with MCI will go on to develop dementia, and it is important that we try and identify those who will and those who will not progress to be able to offer appropriate treatment and advice. This will become even more pressing as and when new treatments for specific forms of dementia become available.

We urgently need to prepare the healthcare system for any future changes in the treatment landscape, and this must include our approach to dealing with MCI.”

This new story is based on ‘Expert clinicians call for new consensus on Mild Cognitive Impairment’ from Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Tags: Dementia and related disorders - Affective Disorders and Interface with Medicine - Publications -

By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 23 Nov 2020, 16:00 PM

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