Given the importance of identifying dementia prodromes for future treatment efforts, we examined two methods of
diagnosing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and determined whether empirically-derived MCI subtypes of these
diagnostic methods were consistent with one another as well as with conventional MCI subtypes (i.e., amnestic,
non-amnestic, single-domain, multi-domain). Participants were diagnosed with MCI using either conventional
Petersen/Winblad criteria (n5134; .1.5 SDs below normal on one test within a cognitive domain) or comprehensive
neuropsychological criteria developed by Jak et al. (2009) (n580; .1 SD below normal on two tests within a domain),
and the resulting samples were examined via hierarchical cluster and discriminant function analyses. Results showed that
neuropsychological profiles varied depending on the criteria used to define MCI. Both criteria revealed an Amnestic
subtype, consistent with prodromal Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and a Mixed subtype that may capture individuals in
advanced stages of MCI. The comprehensive criteria uniquely yielded Dysexecutive and Visuospatial subtypes, whereas
the conventional criteria produced a subtype that performed within normal limits, suggesting its susceptibility to false
positive diagnostic errors. Whether these empirically-derived MCI subtypes correspond to dissociable neuropathologic
substrates and represent reliable prodromes of dementia will require additional follow-up. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–11)

Learning Objectives:

As a result of reading the article, the reader will be able to:

(1) Discuss the various definitions of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) used in research studies

(2) Describe distinct cognitive subtypes of older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)