The First Key Symposium was held in Stockholm, Sweden, 2–5 September 2003. The aim of the symposium was to integrate clinical and epidemiological perspectives on the topic of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). A multidisciplinary, international group of experts discussed the current status and future directions of MCI, with regard to clinical presentation, cognitive and functional assessment, and the role of neuroimaging, biomarkers and genetics. Agreement on new perspectives, as well as recommendations for management and future research were discussed by the international working group. The specific recommendations for the general MCI criteria include the following: (i) the person is neither normal nor demented; (ii) there is evidence of cognitive deterioration shown by either objectively measured decline over time and/or subjective report of decline by self and/or informant in conjunction with objective cognitive deficits; and (iii) activities of daily living are preserved and complex instrumental functions are either intact or minimally impaired.