Cognitive Problems in Oceanside

Dr. Linette Williamson - Cognitive Problems in Oceanside

Cognitive Problem Symptoms, Causes and Effects

Cognitive disorders usually start subtly but progress until they significantly impede the impacted individual's quality of life. It is important to recognize the various cognitive disorders, their symptoms and relevant treatment options.

What Are the Types of Cognitive Disorders?

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 an individual to the point where typical functioning in society is impossible without treatment. Some common cognitive disorders include:

  • Dementia
  • Developmental disorders
  • Motor skill disorders
  • Amnesia
  • Substance-induced cognitive impairment

Alzheimer's disease, one of the most common cognitive disorders, affects approximately 5.1 million Americans.

What Causes a Cognitive Disorder?

Like many mental disorders, cognitive disorders are caused by a variety of factors. Some are due to hormonal imbalances in the womb, others to genetic predisposition and still others to environmental elements. Common 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 trauma. When an area of the brain that influences cognitive function is damaged, either by the excessive use of drugs, by alcohol or from physical injury, those neurophysiological changes can lead to cognitive dysfunction.

What Are the Signs of Cognitive Disorder?

Cognitive disorder signs differ according to the particular disorder, however some common signs and symptoms overlap in many disorders. Some of the most common symptoms of cognitive disorder consist of:

  • Confusion
  • Poor motor coordination
  • Loss of short-term or long-term memory
  • Identity confusion
  • Impaired judgment

Some cognitive disorders develop in phases and symptoms increase in severity the further the disease progresses. Alzheimer's disease, for example, begins with the individual showing very small signs of forgetfulness. Individuals might forget names they know well, or they may have trouble remembering what they did recently. The first symptoms of early-onset Alzheimer's disease are usually indistinguishable from regular memory errors. However, as the disease progresses, the affected person's memory becomes persistently impaired. They might have rare moments of clarity, but life is generally lived in a state of confusion.

Emotional Symptoms of Cognitive Problems

Cognitive problems materialize in a range of ways, with emotional imbalance being among the most prevalent symptoms. Cognitive impairment is frustrating, and those suffering from it commonly react with emotional outbursts, making it hard for family and friends to help. Others may push people away in an effort to isolate themselves, only making the problem worse. Other cognitive disorders have the opposite effect, causing the person to experience dulled or nonexistent emotions.

Physical Symptoms of Cognitive Problems

Cognition problems commonly manifest in the form of visible outward symptoms. The affected person may appear dazed and confused, and their eyes might have a glazed look. Motor coordination is frequently affected in both neurological and psychological cognitive disorders, and the individual may have strange 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 basic lack of emotional stability and control over one's actions.

Is There a Test or Self-Assessment I Can Do?

Several memory and cognitive function assessments are available online, but it is important to understand that these tests can only provide you a basic idea concerning some of the symptoms that an individual 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 begin any kind of treatment plan.

For Cognitive Problems in Oceanside, call the clinic at (760) 875-2627 or visit our website at and schedule your appointment today!

Dr. Williamson's guidance can help you return to an improved quality of life.

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