CNR - Institute of Neuroscience CNR
Institute of Neuroscience


Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Cognitive Impairment No Dementia (CIND) in the Italian Elderly: epidemiology and progression to dementia

Cognitive impairment, no dementia (CIND) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are the terms most frequently used to indicate a transitional zone, potentially lying between normal aging and dementia, and possibly useful to identify persons at risk of developing dementia years before the onset of the overt disease. The underlying hypothesis is that pre-clinical cognitive changes may predict an increased risk of dementia, and, conversely, that the dementia process may begin years before clinical symptoms become evident.


This study estimated the prevalence and progression to dementia of cognitive impairment, no dementia (CIND), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and relative subtypes, evaluating the relationships with daily functioning, cardiovascular diseases and vascular risk factors.

We evaluated CIND and MCI in the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging. The neuropsychological battery assessed global cognitive function, memory and attention. Two thousand eight hundred thirty participants were examined at baseline and after a mean follow-up of 3.9 +/- 0.7 years.

Selected results

Predictors of dementia at the follow-up examination of the ILSA cohort.


Predictors of disability at the follow-up examination of the ILSA cohort.


Demographic variables, vascular diseases, and risk factors in cognitively normal individuals at baseline according to the diagnosis of dementia at follow-up.



Both cognitive impairment, no dementia and mild cognitive impairment are frequent in the Italian elderly (2,955,000 prevalent cases expected) and significantly predict progression to dementia. Individuation of subgroups with different risk factors and transition rates to dementia is required to plan early and cost-effective interventions.


  • Maggi S, Zucchetto M, Grigoletto F, Baldereschi M, Candelise L, Scarpini E, Scarlato G, Amaducci L (1994) The Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging (ILSA): design and methods. Aging (Milano) 6:464-73.
  • Di Carlo A, Lamassa M, Baldereschi M, Inzitari M, Scafato E, Farchi G, Inzitari D (2007) CIND and MCI in the Italian elderly: frequency, vascular risk factors, progression to dementia. Neurology 68:1909-16.
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1991 - 1998: The ILSA was supported by the Italian National Research Council with annual grants to each research unit


  • Stefania Maggi
  • G. Scarlato, MD, L. Candelise, MD, E. Scarpini, University of Milan, Italy.
  • P. Carbonin, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy.
  • G. Farchi, MSc, E. Scafato, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.
  • F. Grigoletto, E. Perissinotto, L. Battistin, M. Bressan, G. Enzi, G. Bortolan, University of Padua, Italy.
  • C. Loeb, Italian National Research Council, Genoa, Italy.
  • C. Gandolfo, University of Genoa, Italy.
  • N. Canal, M. Franceschi, San Raffaele Institute, Milan, Italy.
  • A. Ghetti, R. Vergassola, Health Area 10, Florence, Italy.
  • L. Amaducci, D. Inzitari, University of Florence, Italy.
  • S. Bonaiuto, F. Fini, A. Vesprini, G. Cruciani, INRCA Fermo, Italy.
  • A. Capurso, P. Livrea, V. Lepore, University of Bari, Italy.
  • L. Motta, G. Carnazzo, P. Bentivegna, University of Catania, Italy.
  • F. Rengo, F. Covelluzzi, University of Naples, Italy.
  • M. Inzitari, Socio-Sanitary Hospital Pere Virgili and Institute on Aging of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.
  • M. Lamassa, Department of Neurology, University of Florence, Italy.


PI photo

Antonio Salvatore Di Carlo

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Participating staff