Amnestic mild cognitive impairment doubles risk of death

July 16, 2012

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center have found that people with a form of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease, have twice the risk of dying compared with cognitively normal people. Those with dementia have three times the risk. The findings are being presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Vancouver this week.

Amnestic MCI is a condition in which people have more severe than normal for their age and education, but not serious enough to affect daily life. (Another form of MCI, nonamnestic MCI, is characterized by impaired other than memory, such as trouble planning and organizing or poor judgment.) According to the Alzheimer's Association, long-term studies suggest that 10 to 20 percent of people aged 65 and older may have MCI.

Einstein researchers studied 733 individuals enrolled in the Einstein Aging Study. The participants were at least 70-years-old and lived in The Bronx. At the start of the study, each had a cognitive evaluation for baseline and at least one annual follow-up visit. They were also tested for the APOE-4 , which is linked to increased risk for Alzheimer's. Participants were followed for an average of five years (up to a high of 16 years).

Study investigators found that participants with amnestic MCI had more than two times (2.17) greater risk of death. Nonamnestic MCI did not appear to increase . The risk of death among participants with dementia was more than three times greater (3.26) than that of those who were cognitively normal. Researchers also found that having the APOE-4 gene variant, a greater number of co-morbidities, and were also related to higher risk of mortality.

"While there is no treatment for MCI, dementia or Alzheimer's, these findings support the benefits of early detection and monitoring of cognitive impairment in order to prolong life," said Richard Lipton, M.D., the senior author of the study and director of the Einstein Aging Study. Dr. Lipton is also the Edwin S. Lowe Chair in Neurology at Einstein and professor and vice chair of the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology at Einstein and Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein.

The Einstein Aging Study examines both normal brain aging and the special challenges of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Since its initial funding 30 years ago by the National Institute on Aging (AG003949), part of the National Institutes of Health, its investigators have contributed to the understanding of brain aging by tracking over 2,000 Bronx County residents in order to facilitate earlier diagnosis, prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Explore further: Study: Men at higher risk for mild memory loss than women

Related Stories

Study: Men at higher risk for mild memory loss than women

January 25, 2012

Men may be at higher risk of experiencing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or the stage of mild memory loss that occurs between normal aging and dementia, than women, according to a study published in the January 25, 2012, ...

Researchers connect gene to pre-Alzheimer's

July 19, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Cornell scientists have shown a significant correlation for the first time between a human gene and people's risk for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a precursor to Alzheimer's disease and related ...

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.