Cognitive disorders, also known as neurocognitive disorders, are physical conditions characterized by significant impairment of cognitive function. These are the mental processes that help you carry out tasks, from the simplest to the most complex ones.
These disorders affect memory, learning, perception, and problem-solving. They generally result in a diminished quality of life and daily functioning. In this article, Evoke Neuroscience will help you navigate through the intricate maze of the most common cognitive disorders.
Alzheimer’s disease is mainly responsible for an estimated 60-80% of all dementia cases. Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurological disorder where brain cells degenerate and die. This may lead to a steady decline in memory, thinking, and social skills.
This condition is often associated with confusion, language difficulty, mood changes, and long-term memory loss. Despite the vast research in this field, Alzheimer’s remains incurable, making it a significant focus of the scientific community.
While Alzheimer’s is the most prevalent form, it’s not the only type of dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term for various cognitive disorders that result in the loss of cognitive functioning.
These functions may range from thinking, remembering, to reasoning—and behavioral abilities that hamper a person’s usual life and routines. Other types of dementia include Lewy Body dementia, vascular dementia, and frontotemporal dementia, to name a few.
Parkinson’s disease is another prevalent cognitive disorder, primarily known for its impact on motor function leading to tremors, rigid muscles, and movement difficulties. However, the cognitive implications of this disorder are substantial, with more than 50% of patients developing Parkinson’s disease dementia. This type of cognitive disorder is mainly characterized by a decline in memory and reasoning.
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
MCI is a type of cognitive disorder that falls between the normal decline that accompanies aging and the more serious decline of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Patients with mild cognitive impairment exhibit a noticeable decline in one or more cognitive functions, like memory or language, although they can maintain autonomy in their daily lives. Recent studies show that MCI, especially when coupled with amnesia, could potentially evolve into Alzheimer’s disease.
Huntington’s disease is a rare cognitive disorder, but one with profound neurological effects. It’s an inherited disease causing the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain, significantly affecting the individual’s functional abilities.
The most common cognitive symptoms that are associated with Huntington’s include difficulties in focus, impulse control, remembering information, and timely processing of information.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
And lastly, although primarily a psychological disorder, PTSD can reveal itself as a cognitive disorder. PTSD is often the result of traumatic events and can lead to persistent, intrusive thoughts or memories of the event, mood alterations, and changes in reactive behaviors. The cognitive effects of PTSD can include difficulty concentrating, exaggerated responses to stimuli, and memory issues.
The Essence Of Learning Common Cognitive Disorders
In the end, understanding these cognitive disorders is not just about their definitions, but also about recognizing their implications for individuals and society. Early detection and intervention can significantly improve the prognosis of these conditions. Hence, Evoke Neuroscience believes that widespread awareness of these cognitive disorders is highly essential.