Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) refers to the clinical state between normal cognition and probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), but persons diagnosed with MCI may progress to non-AD forms of dementia, remain MCI until death, or recover to normal cognition. Risk factors for these various clinical changes, which we term "transitions," may provide targets for therapeutic interventions. Therefore, it is useful to develop new approaches to assess risk factors for these transitions. Markov models have been used to investigate the transient nature of MCI represented by amnestic single-domain and mixed MCI states, where mixed MCI comprised all other MCI subtypes based on cognitive assessments. The purpose of this study is to expand this risk model by including a clinically determined MCI state as an outcome. Analyses show that several common risk factors play different roles in affecting transitions to MCI and dementia. Notably, APOE-4 increases the risk of transition to clinical MCI but does not affect the risk for a final transition to dementia, and baseline hypertension decreases the risk of transition to dementia from clinical MCI.

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Published in International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, v. 2012, article ID 291920, p. 1-9.

Copyright © 2012 Erin L. Abner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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