Abstract and Keywords
This article highlights some pathophysiological facts in terms of aging and dementia. It considers potential biomedical advances and how they relate to well-being. It focuses on mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which brings together the themes of aging and dementia. Consideration of MCI throws us back to the social context of aging and dementia, where values are to the fore and judgments have to be made. The point at issue in this discussion is the role of the normative in aging and dementia. The article presents examples of enhancing memory, of anti-aging medicaments, and the possibility of ultimate longevity. It shows that an understanding of MCI has to be rooted in a broader social understanding of aging, which reflects the value ascribed to certain cognitive capacities; and the issues that are raised are normative ones, where background judgments have to be made about the kind of life we ought to live.
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