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Basic Cognitive Impairment Disorders

Discuss basic cognitive impairment disorders. Include the areas in which some people are more vulnerable than others. Also include signs and symptoms as well as causative factors.

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1. Discuss basic cognitive impairment disorders. Include the areas in which some people are more vulnerable than others. Also include signs and symptoms as well as causative factors.

Cognitive disorders are mental conditions that cause patients to have difficulty thinking, characterized by impaired awareness, perception, reasoning, memory and judgment. Patients with these disorders have difficulty with the basic process of thinking. Briefly, cognition is the act of mentally processing information. Memory and thought combine to store, retrieve and manipulate this information. When something goes wrong with an individual's memory or thought processes, a cognitive disorder may result. Problems with memory, orientation, language, information processing, and the ability to focus or finish a task are all characteristic of cognitive disorders. Although symptoms of these disorders vary, they are generally marked by impaired awareness, perception, reasoning, memory and judgment. Cognition involves the mental processing of information. Memory and thought combine to store, retrieve and manipulate this information. When something goes wrong with this process, a cognitive disorder may result.

According to DSM-IV-TR, there are four major categories of cognitive disorders:

o Delirium. A change in consciousness that develops over a short period of time, typically a few hours to days. Patients find it difficult to pay attention or to think clearly and have reduced awareness of their environment.

o Dementia. A progressive deterioration of brain function that is marked by impairment of memory, confusion and inability to concentrate.

o Amnestic disorder (amnesia). Involves a significant loss of the memory, although there is no loss of other cognitive functions as there is in dementia.

o Cognitive disorder, not otherwise specified (NOS). Includes cognitive impairment and is presumed to be due to a general medical condition or substance use and does not fit into the other categories (see http://behavenet.com/capsules/).

POTENTIAL CAUSES:

A wide variety of factors can lead to cognitive disorders, such as general medical conditions, brain infections and head injury. Symptoms experienced by patients vary depending on the nature of the disorder that is present, but may include rapid shifting of consciousness, confusion and impaired memory.

DIAGNOSIS:

Cognitive disorders are typically diagnosed following physical and neurological examinations. Imaging tests, blood tests and other tests (e.g., liver function tests, thyroid tests) may also be performed.

TREATMENT:

Treatment options differ depending on which condition is present. Though delirium can usually be treated effectively by addressing the underlying condition, the prognosis may be less optimistic for patients with dementia or amnesia. (see http://behavenet.com/capsules/).

Please see more detail on each cognitive disorder below.

EXTRA INFORMATION: (Excerpt)

TYPES OF COGNITIVE DISORDERS

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recognizes four major categories of cognitive disorders. They included:

o Delirium. The most common cognitive disorder, delirium involves a change in consciousness that develops over a short period of time, typically a few hours to days. Patients find it difficult to pay attention or to think clearly and have reduced awareness of their environment and/or self. Episodes of delirium usually begin suddenly and may come and go over the course of a day. Patients are often more lucid in the morning than they are in the evening. Most episodes of delirium resolve within one week, although the disorder can evolve into dementia or amnestic disorder (amnesia). Delirium should always be considered a ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses basic cognitive impairment disorders according to DSM-IV-TR. It includes the areas in which some people are more vulnerable than others. It also includes signs and symptoms as well as causative factors. This response is approximately 2200 words.

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