In a Mayo Clinic research study recently published in Neurology, the prevalence of mild cognitive impairment was found to be higher in men than women. This finding came as a surprise, as the expectation was that more women would show symptoms. While the overall rate of MCI diagnosis was 16% among this group of nearly 2,000 people from the ages of 70 to 89, men had a 19% indicidence and women had a 14% incidence. MCI is thought of a pre-cursor to Alzheimer’s Dementia as many of those who are diagnosed with MCI proceed to the more debilitating disease in time. One bright spot in the study was that the researchers also found that the more years of education a person had, the less likely that person was to show symptoms of MCI overall.
This finding is another piece of evidence related to the broad impact cognitive decline has as we age. Coupled with the recent result that staying mentally active reduces the rate of decline among older adults, it widens the group of people who should be building brain-challenging activities into their daily life.