Causes of Cognitive Disorders
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People with cognitive disorders experience problems with memory and thinking ability. Primary among these is Dementia – a disorder which affects the older population most. As we are all living longer, we have found that dementia rates double every 5 years over the age of 65.
Chart courtesy of The Canadian Study of Health and Aging Working Group (CSHA)
Dementia: a general term for a significant decline in mental ability, serious enough to interfere with normal activity and beyond what is normal in the aging process. It is not a disease but is a symptom of another medical condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia. It can also be the result of a unique global brain injury. Most of the time it is progressive and results in long-term decline.
External Resource: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center, Inc.
Mild Cognitive Impairment
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI): also known as incipient dementia or isolated memory impairment, is the transitional stage between the memory loss involved with normal aging and dementia. It can involve problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes. A person with MCI may be aware that memory or mental function has “slipped,” and family and close friends also may notice a change. Generally these changes aren’t severe enough to interfere with day-to-day life and usual activities. The cause of MCI remains unknown.
Post-Concussive Syndrome (PCS): a set of symptoms that may continue for weeks, months, or even a year after a concussion. Headaches and dizziness are common complaints, although irritability and difficulty concentrating are also noted. Most PCS symptoms resolve after a period of time.
Syncope: also known as fainting or passing out, is a sudden, brief loss of consciousness and posture caused by decreased blood flow to the brain. It may be preceded by dizziness, nausea, weakness, sweating, palpitations, and a temporary loss of hearing, vision, or feeling.