by Kristian Steen Frederiksen
The European Academy of Neurology and the European Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium were invited to organise a joint session on mild cognitive impairment at the upcoming Alzheimer Europe Conference, which is to be held virtually from 29 November to 1 December 2021. This session comes on the back of a joint position statement from the same organisations and with representation from Alzheimer Europe on diagnosis, disclosure and management of MCI. The concept of mild cognitive impairment was coined in the 1980s and has since evolved to denote a population of patients with a syndrome of cognitive impairment, as well as a certain stage in the disease trajectory of neurodegenerative dementia disorders, most notably Alzheimer´s disease.
Despite the fact that the concept is widely used in clinical practice, a number of considerations surrounding MCI remain problematic. First, patients with MCI constitute a very heterogenous population with varying prognosis, underlying pathology and treatment perspectives. Second, explaining a diagnosis of MCI and the underlying cause to patients and caregivers may be difficult. Third, the diagnostic utility of biomarkers in the MCI stage of a possible progressive, neurodegenerative dementia disorder is uncertain on the individual patient level, which further compounds the difficulties for clinicians to determine which patients should undergo biomarker sampling. In addition, such issues raise a number of ethical questions surrounding the use of the MCI diagnosis, which clinicians need to be aware of and take into consideration when counselling individual patients. These aspects have become even more relevant since the approval by the FDA of Aducanumab, a mono-clonal beta-amyloid antibody, for early AD.
Please be sure to participate in the joint EAN-EADC Session on Wednesday, 1 December, 2021, 10.45-12.00 (CET). Further details on the Conference Programme can be found here.