Mayo study: 'Pre-dementia' is rising - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Mayo study: 'Pre-dementia' is rising

CHICAGO (AP) -- New research shows that a milder type of mental decline that often precedes Alzheimer's disease is much more common than thought.

Nearly a million older Americans slide from normal memory into mild impairment each year, doctors reported at a medical conference in Chicago. That's in addition to the half million Americans who develop full-blown Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.

The Mayo Clinic study involved about 1,600 people, ages 70 through 89, living in southeastern Minnesota's Olmsted County. All tested normal when they were enrolled in the study, but more than 5 percent had developed mild impairment when evaluated a year later.

Men were nearly twice as likely as women to develop it.

The problem is sure to grow as Baby Boomers age. Dr. Ralph Nixon, a New York psychiatrist and adviser to the Alzheimer's Association, says, "We're facing a crisis."

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