Sometimes memory problems occur and this is confirmed by the patient or someone close to them but their other abilities are not impaired. They may be able to carry out activities of daily living virtually normally, for example bank transactions, driving a car, taking medications etc. If the condition is confirmed by a neuropsychological assessment, we call it 'mild cognitive impairment'. This does not meet the criteria for Alzheimer's disease.
Having this condition does, however, increase the risk of developing the disease. For some people this may be a 'pre-dementia stage' of the disease, but a mild cognitive impairment can also remain stable for many years.
Before giving a diagnosis of "mild cognitive impairment" we check whether the memory problems may be associated with medications or mood-related problems.