Cognitive Disorders

This newsletter is focused on what are referred to as Cognitive Disorders. This category includes Delirium, Dementia, and Amnestic Disorders.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) identifies Cognitive Disorder as a predominant disturbance which is a significant decline in cognition, or the thinking process of the client.

DELIRIUM: 1) a mental disturbance characterized by confusion, disorientated speech, and hallucinations.

Delirium is characterized by a disturbance of consciousness and a change in the patient’s thinking process. Delirium develops rapidly, often in a matter of hours or days and tends to fluctuate during the course of the day. Delirium often affects the patient’s awareness of his environment and the ability of the patient to focus, sustain, or shift attention. The patient is easily distracted and often needs to have questions repeated several times. Memory impairment, disorientation, language problems, or perceptual disturbances often accompany this change in the patient’s thinking process includes.

DEMENTIA: 1) a condition of deteriorated mentality.

Dementia is characterized by the development of multiple cognitive problems including memory loss, impairment in language, the inability to perform coordinated motor movements, the inability to recognize familiar objects, or a disturbance in day-to-day living. The patient with Dementia also often suffers severe impairment in his social and occupational functioning.

AMNESIA: 1) loss of memory due usually to brain injury, shock, fatigue, repression, or illness; 2) a gap in one’s memory.

Amnestic Disorders are characterized by the inability of the patient to learn new information or recall information previously learned or past events. The most common of the memory impairment problems is that the patient can remember details of the very distant past, but, for example, is unable to recall a momentous event that occurred yesterday. This impairment can severely affect the patient’s day-to-day living as well as his social and occupational functioning. Often times, Amnestic Disorders are preceded by confusion and disorientation; and many with this impairment lack the insight to even comprehend that their memory is impaired.

The Cognitive Disorders are often accompanied by emotional disturbances such as anxiety, fear, depression, irritability, anger, euphoria, or apathy.

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Fayetteville, NC 28305

Phone: 910-609-1990
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