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Cognitive Disorders

Cognitive disorders: Overview
Cognitive disorders are mental conditions that cause people to have difficulty thinking clearly and precisely. Although symptoms of cognitive disorders vary, they are generally marked by impaired awareness, perception, reasoning, memory and judgment. The four major categories of cognitive disorders are: delirium (a change in consciousness that develops over a short period of time in which people have a reduced awareness of their environment); dementia (a progressive deterioration of brain function that is marked by impairment of memory, confusion and inability to concentrate; amnesia (a significant loss of the memory, despite no loss of other cognitive functions like there is in dementia; and cognitive disorders not otherwise specified (cognitive impairment presumed to be due to a general medical condition or substance use and does not fit into the other categories). A wide variety of factors can lead to cognitive disorders, including general medical conditions, brain infections and head injury.

Cognitive disorders: Diagnosis
Cognitive disorders are typically diagnosed following physical and neurological examinations. Imaging tests, blood tests, liver function tests and thyroid tests may also be performed. 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. The most common mental disorders affect cognitive functions, mainly memory processing, perception and problem solving. The most direct cognitive disorders are amnesia, dementia and delirium. Others include anxiety disorders such as phobias, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder are also cognitive mental disorders. Psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and delusional disorder are also classified as cognitive mental disorders.

Cognitive disorders: Effect
Cognitive disorders affect thinking and perceptual processes and the acquisition of knowledge and new information. Cognitive disorders have an enormous societal impact because special educational resources are required, and independent living often cannot be achieved. Learning problems may lead to behavioral disorders in the home and community. Severe cognitive impairment is usually accompanied by physical abnormalities. If you feel your child may be suffering from a cognitive disorder, call a LearningRx center near you today for a diagnosis. You can also get more information at