The rate of conversion of mild cognitive impairment to dementia: predictive role of depression

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007 Jun;22(6):563-7. doi: 10.1002/gps.1716.


Background: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition referring to the persons with cognitive deficits measurable in some form or another, but not meeting criteria for dementia, and who have an increased risk of becoming demented.

Objective: To establish the rate of progression to dementia in MCI, to investigate the risk of conversion for amnestic vs multiple-domains subtypes, and to identify the predictors of progression.

Methods: MCI (n = 105) individuals enrolled in a longitudinal study received annual clinical and psychometric examinations for up to a mean of 3 years. The diagnosis of MCI according to Mayo Clinic Petersen's Criteria was conducted by a panel of specialists.

Results: After 3 years of follow-up, 23 of 105 subjects with MCI were diagnosed with dementia. 40 showed cognitive decline not dementia, 34 were stable and showed no cognitive decline or improvement, while eight showed cognitive improvement.

Conclusions: We conclude that conversion rate from MCI to DSM-IIIR dementia was 21.9% over a period of 3 years. The occurrence of depressive symptoms may constitute a predictor for those who are more likely to progress to dementia. The risk of conversion to dementia was higher among the subjects with an evidence of impairment extending beyond memory than with those who suffered only from memory deficits, and the subjects who converted to dementia in this subtype had significantly higher baseline plasma total homocysteine levels than non-converters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Status Schedule
  • Middle Aged
  • Poland
  • Risk Factors