What is the role of lab testing in the workup of mild cognitive impairment (MCI)?

Updated: Apr 22, 2019
  • Author: Sonal Mehta, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

No specific laboratory studies are indicated for mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Most practitioners perform at least a basic workup to rule out treatable conditions that may cause dementia, such as thyroid disease and cobalamin deficiency. These assessments are not mandatory, however.

A search for biologic markers of MCI that may help distinguish among the many conditions that lead from MCI to full-blown dementia is ongoing. As yet, however, no unanimous agreement has been reached, and potentially useful markers, such as functional and structural abnormalities found on imaging studies (eg, hippocampal atrophy and cerebral hypoperfusion) and putative biochemical markers (eg, apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele), remain controversial.


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