Friday, 15 April 2016


Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) falls somewhere between age-associated memory impairment and early dementia. People with mild cognitive impairment are more forgetful than normal for their age, but they don’t experience other cognitive problems associated with dementia, such as disorientation or confusion about routine activities. Routine tasks such as paying bills, shopping and meal preparation may become challenging but can still be performed. People with MCI may take more time doing these activities and they may make more mistakes. They are generally able to live independently but may be less active socially.

About one in five older adults has some type of MCI. In a 2010 study of nearly 2,000 people, about 16 percent of dementia-free people over age 70 were suffering from MCI. Men were more likely to suffer than women, although women may simply experience dementia at a later age. In the study, risk factors included being a carrier of the APOE ε4 gene (a known risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease), never having married and having less than nine years of education. In a 2011 study of nearly 1,300 women age 85 and older, 23 percent were diagnosed with MCI. The researchers recommend that women this age should be screened for cognitive problems.

The National Institute on Aging/Alzheimer’s Association workgroup has come up with new diagnostic guidelines for MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease. With MCI, people experience gradual cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s-related brain changes. A person is thought to suffer from MCI if he or she meets the following criteria:

• A friend, family member, doctor or the person in question is concerned about a change in his or her cognition compared to the previous level.

• The person is experiencing more difficulties in one or more cognitive areas such as memory, attention and language than would be expected for his or her age or educational background. Difficulty learning and retaining new information is most common in MCI patients who develop Alzheimer’s-related dementia.

• The person is having trouble performing complex tasks such as paying bills, preparing a meal or shopping. He or she may take more time, be less efficient and make more mistakes than in the past. Still, he or she maintains his or her independence with minimal assistance.

• There’s no evidence of significant impairment in social or occupational functioning.

• There should be objective evidence of progressive cognitive decline over time. Cognitive testing can assess the degree of impairment. Scores for people with MCI are usually 1 to 1.5 standard deviations below the mean for their age and education level. Some formal cognitive tests that assess both immediate and delayed recall can help identify MCI patients who are likely to progress to Alzheimer’s dementia within a few years. Other tests can determine impairment in problem-solving, reasoning and language. Doctors may also assess a person’s cognitive function using informal techniques, like asking a patient to learn a street address and then remember it after a delay.

• Vascular, traumatic and medical illnesses that could explain the decline in cognition must be ruled out. The goal is to increase the likelihood that the underlying cause of MCI is probably Alzheimer’s.

• If a person is known to carry a genetic defect, such as a mutation in APP, PS-1 or PS-2, he or she most likely has MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease. Most of these carriers develop Alzheimer’s before age 65. A person who meets the diagnostic criteria for MCI and carries a variant of the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene is more likely to progress to Alzheimer’s dementia within a few years than someone without it.

Researchers have discovered that activities such as exercise and computer use may prevent MCI. In a 2010 Mayo Clinic study, adults between ages 70 and 90 who participated in moderate physical exercise like brisk walking or biking and used a computer were less likely to develop MCI. Another Mayo Clinic study found that consuming more heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats reduced the risk of MCI among people age 70 and older. These fatty acids—which are found in olive oil, nuts, seafood and vegetable oils—appear to prevent inflammation and reduce the risk of blood clots, stroke and heart disease.

Many experts believe that MCI may be an early warning sign of memory disorders later in life. Studies show that up to 15 percent of people with MCI progress to Alzheimer’s disease each year, compared with a rate of 1 to 2 percent a year for the general older population.

(Source:  Health After 50, 14 April 2016)

Friday, 1 April 2016


Please be advised that the above 30 minutes mandarin program will be aired on this Sunday, 3 April 2016 to promote greater awareness of Alzheimer’s disease/dementia in the country with BM sub-titles.

Date:  Sunday, 3 April 2016
Air Time:  6.00pm 
Channel:  NTV7 (Astro Channel 107)

This 30 minutes program documented the life of 78-years old AD Patient, Madam Diong Swee Tin who on her motorbike without fail everyday insists on going to tab rubber at their family rubber estate, except rainy days although memory fade; interviews of her family members and Geriatrician, Assoc Prof Dr Tan Maw Pin of UMMC.

The program also covered the interviews of caregivers Mdm Lee Guat Im & Mdm Lim Tat Sim and Psycho-Geriatrician, Dr Teh Ewe Eow of Penang.

Below is the link to another program on the interview of ex Caregiver, Madam Mui Siew Koon which was aired earlier on 29 March 2016.

There will be a repeat on:

Date:  Saturday, 2 April 2016
Air Time:  3.28pm – 3.30pm
Channel:  NTV7 (Astro Channel 107)

Please do not miss the above 30 minutes Forget Me Not Program scheduled on this Sunday, 3 April 2016 at 6.00pm.