'Pre-Dementia' on the Rise

Mild impairment strikes nearly a million elderly a year, especially men
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2008 5:33 AM CDT
Researchers say "pre-dementia" is worse than the "senior moments" of misplaced car keys, but impairs function much less than full-blown Alzheimers.   ((c) Dhaval Jani)
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(Newser) – Almost a million Americans each year develop a mild form of memory loss that is often a precursor to Alzheimer's, according to new research. Mild Cognitive Impairment—more serious than normal "senior moments"—was found to be more common in men, the Los Angeles Times reports. Doctors warn that a crisis is looming as the Baby Boom generation ages.

"If we don't find a cure or treatment to delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease, we're going to be overwhelmed," one neurologist told Reuters. No treatment is currently available to halt the mild impairment before full-blown dementia develops, although researchers have reported fairly promising results from a trial of a nasal spray designed to boost memory in pre-dementia sufferers.