Dr. Lauren Bennett, a clinical neuropsychologist at Hoag’s Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute in the Los Angeles area, who was not involved in the study, told Medical News Today it’s usually other people who first notice a person’s minor cognitive impairment.

“On average, family members notice the first symptoms of cognitive change two years before the first health professional consultation regarding the cognitive decline,” Bennett said. “This statistic highlights the importance of regular cognitive screening for older adults and seeking input from loved ones whenever possible.”

Bennett said people who believe they may have MCI should invite loved ones to share feedback with care providers if they note any declines in cognitive functioning.