Mild cognitive impairment is memory loss that is not a normal part of ageing. It affects up to 20% of people aged 65 years or older. You may notice your mind isn’t as sharp as it used to be. People who are close to you may notice this, too. Mood changes are also common.
Mild cognitive impairment can be caused by many factors, such as infection and medication side effects. In some cases it may resolve by itself. Your GP will work with you to make a plan.
Around 10-15% of people will go on to have dementia. There is no cure for dementia, but there are healthy lifestyle changes that can help support your brain health as you age. Your GP can talk to you about these changes and your options.
Forgetting things more often than usual
Feeling overwhelmed by making decisions
Struggling to follow instructions
Your GP may assess your health and try to find the cause of your symptoms. They may aim to exclude any other issues. Some medications and side effects can make brain function worse. Your GP may review what you are taking and suggest other options. Your GP may also arrange tests to check your brain function.
Your GP may want to see you every six to 12 months to check your health and symptoms. If your symptoms are not getting any better, or if you get more symptoms, your GP may suggest tests or refer you to a specialist. If you are worried about your brain health, you can always see your GP earlier.
Your GP may also talk to you about dementia 和 advance care planning.
Living a healthy lifestyle will help you to keep your brain healthy. One of the best things you can do is to work out at least twice a week. Looking after your health as you age is vital. Some things you can do include:
- Limit drinking and quit smoking
- Stay social, and see people close to you
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get eight hours of sleep each night
- Reduce stress
- Train your brain with puzzles and quizzes, or by learning a new skill (like a language or an instrument)
- Have check-ups with your GP
- Keep your blood pressure within the normal range
How can I maintain my brain function?
What medicine(s) do I need to stop taking?
Will I develop dementia?
What might be causing my cognitive impairment?
How much exercise should I do every day?
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