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Aging Ment Health. 2015 Jan;19(1):2-12. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2014.920303. Epub 2014 Jun 10.

The new DSM-5 diagnosis of mild neurocognitive disorder and its relation to research in mild cognitive impairment.

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a Department of Psychology , Florida State University , Tallahassee , FL , USA.


The Diagnostic Statistical Manual-5 (DSM-5) has included a category named the neurocognitive disorder which was formally known in DSM-IV as 'dementia, delirium, amnestic, and other cognitive disorders'. The DSM-5 distinguishes between 'mild' and 'major' neurocognitive disorders. Major neurocognitive disorder replaces the DSM-IV's term 'dementia or other debilitating conditions'. A pivotal addition is 'mild neurocognitive disorder (mNCD)' defined by a noticeable decrement in cognitive functioning that goes beyond normal changes seen in aging. It is a disorder that may progress to dementia - importantly, it may not. Presently, our understanding of mNCD is derived from research on mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Whereas there is currently no clear treatment for mNCD, many experimental therapies now and into the future will focus upon secondary prevention, namely decreasing the risk of progression to major NCD. In this article, we will focus on mNCD by reviewing the relevant literature on MCI. We will review the research on the incidence and prevalence of MCI, conversion rates from MCI to dementia, risk factors for conversion of MCI to dementia, comorbidity of MCI with other neuropsychiatric disorders (NPS), and the development of treatment strategies for neuropsychiatric disorders in MCI. The presence of NPS is common among individuals with MCI and is an important risk for progression to dementia. However, there has been little research on effective treatments for NPS in MCI. Clinicians and investigators must determine if the treatment of the NPS in mNCD will improve quality of life and help reduce the progression of the cognitive impairment.


mild cognitive impairment; psychological and behavioural symptoms; screening and diagnosis

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