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Neurology. 2018 Jan 16;90(3):126-135. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004826. Epub 2017 Dec 27.

Practice guideline update summary: Mild cognitive impairment: Report of the Guideline Development, Dissemination, and Implementation Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology.

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From the Department of Neurology (R.C.P.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; Department of Neurology (O.L.), University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA; Department of Neurology (M.J.A.), University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville; Heart Rhythm Society (T.S.D.G.), Washington, DC; Department of Psychiatry (M.G.), University of Pittsburgh, PA; Department of Neurology (D.G.), Charleston Area Medical Center, WV; Department of Neurology (G.S.G.), University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City; Department of Neurology (D.M.), University of Alabama, Birmingham; Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences (T.P.), Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada; Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center (G.S.D.), Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute (M.S.), School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Department of Neurology (J.S.), Fort Wayne Neurological Center, IN; and Department of Neurology (A.R.-G.), Cleveland Clinic, OH.



To update the 2001 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) guideline on mild cognitive impairment (MCI).


The guideline panel systematically reviewed MCI prevalence, prognosis, and treatment articles according to AAN evidence classification criteria, and based recommendations on evidence and modified Delphi consensus.


MCI prevalence was 6.7% for ages 60-64, 8.4% for 65-69, 10.1% for 70-74, 14.8% for 75-79, and 25.2% for 80-84. Cumulative dementia incidence was 14.9% in individuals with MCI older than age 65 years followed for 2 years. No high-quality evidence exists to support pharmacologic treatments for MCI. In patients with MCI, exercise training (6 months) is likely to improve cognitive measures and cognitive training may improve cognitive measures.


Clinicians should assess for MCI with validated tools in appropriate scenarios (Level B). Clinicians should evaluate patients with MCI for modifiable risk factors, assess for functional impairment, and assess for and treat behavioral/neuropsychiatric symptoms (Level B). Clinicians should monitor cognitive status of patients with MCI over time (Level B). Cognitively impairing medications should be discontinued where possible and behavioral symptoms treated (Level B). Clinicians may choose not to offer cholinesterase inhibitors (Level B); if offering, they must first discuss lack of evidence (Level A). Clinicians should recommend regular exercise (Level B). Clinicians may recommend cognitive training (Level C). Clinicians should discuss diagnosis, prognosis, long-term planning, and the lack of effective medicine options (Level B), and may discuss biomarker research with patients with MCI and families (Level C).

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