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Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in medical practice: a critical review of the concept and new diagnostic procedure. Report of the MCI Working Group of the European Consortium on Alzheimer’s Disease
  1. F Portet1,
  2. P J Ousset2,
  3. P J Visser6,
  4. G B Frisoni3,
  5. F Nobili4,
  6. Ph Scheltens5,
  7. B Vellas2,
  8. J Touchon1,
  9. the MCI Working Group of the European Consortium on Alzheimer’s Disease (EADC)
  1. 1Memory Research Resource Center for Alzheimer’s Disease, Neurology B Department, Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, Montpellier Hospital, Montpellier, France
  2. 2Memory Research Resource Center for Alzheimer’s Disease, Service de geriatrie, CHU Hopital Lagrave Casselardit, Toulouse, France
  3. 3Laboratory of Epidemiology and Neuroimaging, IRCCS San Giovanni di Dio - FBF, Brescia, Italy
  4. 4Section of Clinical Neurophysiology (DISEM), Department of Endocrinological and Metabolic Sciences, University of Genoa, Viale Benedetto XV, Genoa, Italy
  5. 5Department of Cognitive Neurology, Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  6. 6Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Maastricht and Alzheimer Centre Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Florence Portet
 Neurology B Department, CHU Gui de Chauliac, 80 rue Auguste Fliche, 34295 Montpellier Cedex 05, France; Floportet{at}


Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) was proposed as a nosological entity referring to elderly people with mild cognitive deficit but no dementia. MCI is a heterogeneous clinical entity with multiple sources of heterogeneity. The concept of MCI was reviewed and a diagnostic procedure with three different stages was proposed by the European Consortium on Alzheimer’s Disease Working Group on MCI. Firstly, MCI should correspond to cognitive complaints coming from the patients or their families; the reporting of a relative decline in cognitive functioning during the past year by a patient or informant; cognitive disorders as evidenced by clinical evaluation; absence of major repercussions on daily life; and absence of dementia. These criteria, similar to those defined during an international workshop in Stockholm, make it possible to identify an MCI syndrome, which is the first stage of the diagnostic procedure. Secondly, subtypes of MCI had to be recognised. Finally, the aetiopathogenic subtype could be identified. Identifying patients at a high risk for progression to dementia and establishing more specific and adapted therapeutic strategies at an early stage, together with more structured overall management, is made possible by the diagnostic procedure proposed.

  • MCI, mild cognitive impairment

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  • Published Online First 20 March 2006

  • Competing interests: None declared.