Cognitive Problems in Carlsbad
Cognitive Problem Symptoms, Causes and Effects
Cognitive disorders typically start subtly but progress until they significantly impede the affected individual's quality of life. It is important to understand the different cognitive disorders, their symptoms and relevant treatment options.
Cognitive disorders are a part of the neurocognitive disorder classification in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). Cognitive disorders are defined as any disorder that dramatically impairs the cognitive function of a person to the point where normal functioning in society is impossible without treatment. Some common cognitive disorders include:
- Developmental disorders
- Motor skill disorders
- Substance-induced cognitive impairment
Alzheimer's disease, one of the most prevalent cognitive disorders, affects approximately 5.1 million Americans.
What Causes a Cognitive Disorder?
Like most mental disorders, cognitive disorders are caused by a range of factors. Some are due to hormone imbalances in the womb, others to genetic predisposition and still others to environmental elements. Typical environmental causes of cognitive disorders include a lack of proper nutrients and interaction during vulnerable stages of cognitive development, particularly during infancy.
Other common causes of cognitive disorder include substance abuse and physical injury. When an area of the brain that affects cognitive function is damaged, either by the excessive use of drugs, by alcohol or from physical injury, those neurophysiological changes can cause cognitive dysfunction.
What Are the Symptoms of Cognitive Disorder?
Cognitive disorder symptoms vary according to the particular disorder, however some common signs and symptoms overlap in many disorders. Some of the most common signs of cognitive disorder consist of:
- Poor motor coordination
- Loss of short-term or long-term memory
- Identity confusion
- Impaired judgment
Some cognitive disorders develop in stages and symptoms increase in severity the more the disease progresses. Alzheimer's disease, for example, starts with the patient showing very small signs of forgetfulness. Individuals may forget names they know well, or they may have trouble remembering what they did recently. The initial symptoms of early-onset Alzheimer's disease are usually indistinguishable from normal memory errors. However, as the disease progresses, the affected individual's memory becomes persistently impaired. They might have rare moments of clarity, but life is usually lived in a state of confusion.
Emotional Symptoms of Cognitive Problems
Cognitive problems manifest in a range of ways, with emotional imbalance being one of the most frequent symptoms. Cognitive impairment is frustrating, and those experiencing it commonly react with emotional outbursts, making it hard for friends and family to help. Others might push people away in an effort to isolate themselves, only making the problem worse. Some cognitive disorders have the opposite effect, causing the person to experience dulled or absent emotions.
Cognitive Problems and Symptoms in Carlsbad
Cognition problems commonly manifest in the form of visible external symptoms. The affected individual might seem dazed and confused, and their eyes might have a glazed look. Motor coordination is often affected in both neurological and psychological cognitive disorders, and the person may have unusual mannerisms or simply a lack of balance and normal posture.
Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Cognitive Instability
Cognitive instability includes both short- and long-term effects. Some common short-term effects include memory loss, a state of confusion and a lack of coordination. Long-term effects include the increasing loss of declarative memory, such as forgetting names and significant faces, and a general lack of emotional stability and control over one's actions.
Is There a Test or Self-Assessment I Can Do?
Various memory and cognitive function assessments are offered online, but it is important to understand that these tests can only give you a general idea concerning some of the symptoms that a person with a cognitive disorder might experience. A complete medical exam is necessary to impart a formal diagnosis, and you should consult a medical professional before you start any kind of treatment plan.
Linette Williamson, MD is an Integrative Medical Doctor, who specializes in helping her patients and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Carlsbad, California
Identify lifestyle factors that affect their everyday medical issues. Dr. Williamson uses cutting-edge testing to find imbalances that are related to your health problems. She will spend time with you to find out what specific issues you have and help you develop a specific plan that is unique to you.