About this Research Topic
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered a prodromal stage of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other types of dementia. The following general criteria are used in diagnosing MCI:
(i) Evidence of concern about a change in cognition, preferably corroborated by an informant. Such as poorer performance in one or more cognitive domains that is greater than what would be expected for the patient’s age and educational background;
(ii) Functional activities mainly preserved or minimally impaired;
(iii) Non-fulfillment of diagnostic criteria for dementia. Additionally, biomarkers obtained through neuroimaging or cerebrospinal fluid is recommended when access to these advanced techniques and analysis is possible.
Although a heterogeneous pattern of transitions may include stabilization and worsening of cognitive decline or even improvement of symptoms, there is a general consensus regarding (a) the classification of MCI into two main broad types, amnestic and non-amnestic, depending on whether memory has deteriorated or is intact; and (b) the greater progress of the diseases as more cognitive domains are affected (amnestic and non-amnestic multidomain subtypes). Episodic memory and executive functions were mainly cited as cognitive functions earlier impaired in MCI. Moreover, though there is evidence of language compensation in cognitive decline, several language abilities should begin to be negatively influenced by the early impairment in cognitive processes associated with MCI.
Population-based studies have found that among the main predictors of MCI and its progression to dementia are measures of verbal fluency, naming, and verbal memory. Additionally, the diagnosis utility of pragmatic, syntactic and lexical measures was also explored. Other linguistic measures such as the comprehension of sentences, discourse and texts or production of narrative speech were also used to analyse their value predict conversion or to differentiate MCI and healthy controls.
Current research also explores new methods to successfully recognize early symptoms of MCI in spontaneous speech, some of them using TICs and big data approximation. Some recent studies are also seeking neurological correlates and psychophysiological bases of the processes involved in comprehension and production language impairment in MCI.
This Research Topic proposes to compile and update the main advances in research on the linguistic domain in MCI. Proposals on oral, signed, or written modalities of language, studies that analyze changes in any of its components (i.e. phonological, morphological, syntactic, lexical, semantic, pragmatic), and, also, research that explores the role of any factor that can intensify, or diminish, language impairment in MCI, are welcome.
Keywords: Mild Cognitive Impairment, Language, Communication, Early Detection, Dementia Symptoms
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