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Keywords:

  • mild cognitive impairment;
  • MCI;
  • screening;
  • treatment decisions

OBJECTIVES: To assess interest of older adults in screening and treatment for mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

DESIGN: Cross-sectional, in-person pilot survey with a convenience sample.

SETTING: Two university-based geriatrics clinic waiting rooms in Chicago.

PARTICIPANTS: Healthy adults aged 35 and older without cognitive impairment (n=149).

MEASUREMENTS: Following a description of MCI extracted from the Alzheimer's Association Website “Fact Sheet,” questions concerning willingness to be screened and treated for MCI.

RESULTS: Ninety-eight percent of respondents would be willing to be tested for MCI if a family member suggested they had memory problems, 99% were willing to take a medication if it would cut the risk of conversion from MCI to Alzheimer's disease (AD) in half, and 92% would take a medication to delay the conversion from MCI to AD by 1 year. If a family member suggested memory problems, African Americans were more willing than whites to be screened for MCI (75% vs 57%; P=.05).

CONCLUSION: Older adults expressed high interest in screening and treatment for MCI. Interest in screening is even stronger in African Americans than in whites. Such high interest is potentially troubling, given the current state of knowledge about MCI.