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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2012, Article ID 936272, 8 pages
Review Article

Executive Dysfunction in MCI: Subtype or Early Symptom

1Center for the Study of Human Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, 0316 Oslo, Norway
2Center for Advanced Study, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, 0271 Oslo, Norway
3Department of Neurology, Akershus University Hospital, 1478 Lørenskog, Norway
4Faculty Division of Psyciatry, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital, 0407 Oslo, Norway
5Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, 5020 Bergen, Norway

Received 29 November 2011; Revised 4 April 2012; Accepted 10 April 2012

Academic Editor: Štefan Krajcík

Copyright © 2012 Ivar Reinvang 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.


Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may take several forms, and amnestic MCI (aMCI) has been recognized as an early stage of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Impairment in executive functions including attention (eMCI) may be indicative of several neurodegenerative conditions. Executive impairment is frequently found in aMCI, it is significant for prognosis, and patients with eMCI may go on to develop AD. Recent studies have found changes in white matter integrity in patients with eMCI to be more sensitive than measures of cortical atrophy. Studies of genetic high-risk groups using sensitive cognitive neuroscience paradigms indicate that changes in executive function may be a cognitive marker useful for tracking development in an AD pathophysiological process.