MCI is an intermediate step between the expected deterioration of normal aging and the first stages of dementia (Parkinson Disease, Alzheimer´s, etc.)
MCI entails memory, language, orientation, thoughts and judgment problems which are more important that changes related to age, but not severe enough to alter daily life. MCI may increase the risk to develop dementia, being the most common Alzheimer´s dementia. During the process, it is frequent to experiment symptoms such as depression, irritability, aggressiveness, anxiety or apathy.
There is no specific cause for MCI, as well as the same response is not achieved when it is treated. Symptoms may remain unchanged for years, progress towards dementia, or even improve. The age of onset begins around 55 years.
The changes observed in the brain have been obtained from necropsy studies, and may be analogous to those observed in Parkinson´s, Alzheimer´s or Lewy´s dementia. Likewise, stroke or cerebral blood flow reduction abnormalities have been found.
Changes Changes studied in neuroimaging studies (TAC, MRI, PET-TAC) show that some of them might be related with MCI:
- Hippocampus reduction
- Beta-amyloid plaques all around the brain
- Enlargement of cerebrospinal fluid deposits
- Reduction of glucose intake (main source of energy for neurons)
Risk Factors for MCI are:
- Age increasing
- Presence of a specific form of APOE- ε4 gen (not always)
- Life style factors related to MCI
- Micro brain trauma received in contact sports such as boxing, rugby, etc.
In general, approximately, between 1% and 2% of adults develop dementia. mong older people with MCI, studies suggest that from 6% to 15% develop dementia.
A group of international experts have developed a protocol to diagnose MCI. It is based in 5 points, to which there must be added: neurological exploration, laboratory tests, brain images and a mental state test.
There are currently no medications for MCI or other specific procedures approved by the FDA and the EMA. However, it remains an important area of ongoing research to improve symptoms and prevent their onset. Meanwhile, there are some measures that can help improve memory and mental functions such as:
- Blood pressure control
- Prevent/treat depression
- Treat sleep apnea
Studies have given contradictory results with regards to healthy daily-life style tips, popular medicine, diets, exercise, etc. to prevent or reverse MCI. Nor vitamins or supplements have given good results.
Among tools in the field of Neuromodulation, deepTMS is the less invasive technique with which the brain is approached. It is approved and guaranteed by several research studies carried out at prestigious universities and hospitals around the world, and has been successfully tested and authorized in USA, Europe, Canada, Japan and some countries in South America for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric processes (deepTMS BrainsWay System).
Treatment for MCI is oriented towards the memory recovery and the mood, which are the main alterations observed at the beginning of the process. To that end, 10 Hz excitatory frequencies are applied. These frequencies are directed simultaneously to cortical and subcortical brain structures. Therapy with deep TMS consists in 16 sessions of treatment, 3 sessions per week during alternate days for 4 consecutive weeks, and 1 weekly session for 4 weeks. After 8 weeks of the conclusion of the treatment, cognitive functions, mood and performance of daily life activities are assessed.
The treatment is administered without previous preparation, no interruptions and on an outpatient basis, therefore it does not interfere with daily life activities; nor does it produce side effects in the short or long term, and it may offer an alternative, or complement to the regular procedures aimed at improving the MCI or stopping its development.
Eleven years of use and direct contact with superficial TMS, guarantee a better exploitation of the new technique deep TMS.