Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) also known as incipient dementia or isolated memory impairment. It is the intermediate stage between the expected aging cognitive decline versus the more severe signs of Alzheimer’s. During the time the symptoms are evolving, the patient is often aware of their memory "slipping".
As like the rest of your body, the brain will age and forgetting someone’s name or coming up with a word is normal. Constant forgetfulness, stopping mid-sentence in a conversation may be more of a concern. When family and friends notice these changes it will further put up a red flag to seek further neurological evaluation.
I had a client who's family member noticed that her loved ones text messages were disjointed. She then learned she had a recent fall. The family member reached out to Anchor Healthcare Advocates to explore whether she had a head injury from a fall or something else. When we first met, she shared her professional and personal life and her love of homeopathic practices. As the story unfolded, her friends had noticed her less focused and disorganized. She described it as being "foggy" which lasted hours and sometimes days. She was referred to a neurologist to have diagnostic neuroimaging and neuropsychological testing which is recommended when these symptoms appear.
Mild cognitive impairment can be treated. Along with neurodiagnostic testing, antidepressants can elevate mood. Imagine a puzzle and some of the pieces are missing. Certain processes we have performed all our life and then suddenly forgetting how to turn the handle of a blind to let in light. These every day signs are subtle and I hope those closest to us will question us even if it turns out to be the normal process of aging.