What is normal?

An occasional missed thought, decreased attention or word finding/naming difficulty aka “senior’s moment.” The frequency is occasional and does not worsen over time.

What is Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)?

MCI is NOT a normal part of aging.

Memory loss which is more than would be expected for age, but does not affect one’s ability to function day to day.

People with MCI often need lists to keep track of daily activities or chores.  Family members may notice that they are repetitive, for example –  asking the same question over again.

Mild cognitive impairment is now considered to be the first stage of dementia.

There is currently no approved treatment for MCI.

The Kawartha Centre is currently conducting clinical trials into treatment for MCI.

What is Alzheimer's disease (AD)?

AD is NOT a normal part of aging.

Memory loss that is severe enough to interfere with everyday life and ability to function.

People with AD often need help with activities of daily life.  In the early stages, this may include assistance with banking, shopping, cooking, etc.  In later stages of the disease, assistance with personal care such as bathing, toileting, will be needed.

AD results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior, and can last from 3 to 20 years from the time of onset of symptoms.

The Kawartha Centre is currently conducting clinical trials into new treatments for mild Alzheimer’s disease.

How is Alzheimer’s disease different from other forms of dementia?

Dementia is an “umbrella” term to describe a range of symptoms associated with cognitive impairment.  Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.  Some of the other forms of dementia include vascular dementia, fronto-temporal dementia (Pick’s disease), Parkinson’s dementia, and Lewy Body dementia.

What are the risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s?

The greatest risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease is advancing age. Most individuals with Alzheimer’s are over 65 years of age, but it can occur in younger people as well.  Other risk factors may include: genetics, midlife obesity, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and high cholesterol.  Possible protective factors reducing risk of AD include: education, social and cognitive engagement, regular exercise and healthy diet.