Alzheimer’s Proposal Would Change Many Diagnoses

Nearly all mild and very mild cases would be reclassified as MCI

by Lesley Kennedy • reporter

Forget calling it mild Alzheimer’s. A recent study finds a proposal for new criteria on diagnosing the disease by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association would instead classify a person as having mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

MyHealthNewsDaily reports MCI is “currently recognized as an intermittent stage between the normal loss of mental function that comes with age and the development of dementia.”

“[The] idea that there is an MCI stage, distinct from very early Alzheimer’s disease, is artificial,” Dr. John Morris, a researcher on the study and neurology professor at St. Louis’s Washington University, tells the news service. “It really is the same disease process.”

According to the study, under the proposed guidelines, 99.8 percent of those now diagnosed with “very mild” Alzheimer’s disease, and another 92.7 percent with “mild” Alzheimer’s disease, would actually have MCI.

What do you think? Does this just confuse the issue?

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First Published February 7, 2012

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