Indexed on: 18 Feb '09Published on: 18 Feb '09Published in: Fortschritte der Neurologie-Psychiatrie
Mild cognitive impairment describes a cognitive decline greater than expected for an individual's age and education level that does not interfere significantly with activities of daily life. In the recent years concepts of "mild cognitive impairment" with divergent definitions have been discussed as potential preclinical forms of dementia. The etiology of cognitive impairment is heterogeneous and it can be promoted or caused by numerous somatic factors. Relevant somatic factors include hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart failure, chronic obstructive airways disease and bronchial asthma. Cognitive impairment may be facilitated by hypercholesterolemia, chronic renal failure, hypothyroidism, testosterone deficiency, minimal hepatic encephalopathy, HIV- and hepatitis C-infection. Knowledge and diagnosis of these somatic factors is essential in cognitive impairment, as diligent treatment may lead to improve cognitive performance and postpone the manifestation of dementia.