Symptoms of cognitive impairment: Normal aging, neurocognitive disorder and dementia

30031239_SWhat is dementia? What is cognitive impairment? Can cognitive impairment be reversed? And how does one differentiate between the two and any normal memory loss associated with progressive aging? Are you interested in learning more about dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and the symptoms of cognitive impairment? Continue reading for a general synopsis.

Before diving deeper into the varying types of cognitive impairment, let’s uncover some of the symptoms most commonly associated with the neurological disorder.

What are the typical symptoms of cognitive impairment?

The following are some of the most observed symptoms associated with mild to severe cognitive impairment:

  • Confusion
  • Partial loss of short-term or long-term memory
  • Impaired judgment/decision-making
  • Poor motor coordination
  • Identity confusion
  • Missing/forgetting appointments or important events
  • Difficulty keeping up with conversations

An individual suffering with a neurocognitive disorder may present one or more of these symptoms. These symptoms can be a normal sign of aging in geriatric populations. However, they may start as symptoms of mild cognitive impairment and progress later on. It is important to talk with your doctor about creating a plan for treatment and enacting lifestyle changes that may be able to slow or reverse some or all of these symptoms.

This then raises another poignant question regarding these early indicators: How fast does mild cognitive impairment progress?

Answer: Unfortunately, there is no solid medically based research to back any data. It is vital, however, to see a doctor to discuss a thorough diagnosis and treatment plan – before these issues advance to more severe cognitive impairment symptoms.

If you notice any new or sudden signs of cognitive impairment in children, it is absolutely critical to seek out medical help immediately. The age of a child would obviously denounce any normal aging neurological related atrophy.

Are there any other behavioral or mood changes to look out for?

There are additional and equally notable behavioral and mood changes that can supplement the current symptoms of cognitive impairment. Keep an eye out for any of the following:

  • Quickly changing mood
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Impulsivity
  • Apathy
  • Social isolation

It is important to remember to watch for these mood and behavioral signs – and make sure to talk with your doctor about them should they present. These issues could be a symptom of mild cognitive impairment, or, they could be related to something else. Take note that individuals with mild behavioral impairment (MBI) do have an increased risk for developing dementia.

Memory and aging: Normal aging memory loss vs. dementia

Memory and Aging: Normal Aging Memory Loss vs Dementia

Another issue to address in the geriatric populations is normal memory loss vs dementia. What should stand out as a red flag and what should be cited and a pre-diagnosis market. It is vital to understand that when you are discussing mild cognitive impairment vs dementia, that there are specific diagnostic criteria that doctors utilize. Only a licensed doctor or nurse practitioner will be able to officially diagnose any potential condition.

If you are experiencing normal age-related memory loss, your doctor will likely ask about your lifestyle. There are many things that can be done to support cognitive health as you age. Diet and exercise are vital here. Eating well-balanced meals with the right vitamins and key nutrients can help support healthy aging. If you smoke tobacco, then it might be a great time to think about quitting.

Brain “exercises” are another underutilized technique that many assist in cognitive repairment and/or put a halt to current or impending symptoms. There are many ways to train your brain as you age. Here are just a few fun ways to help keep your cognitive receptors active and firing:

  • Word games
  • Puzzles
  • Trivia and quiz games
  • Memory games
  • Math and number games
  • Card games
  • Blogging
  • Reading

Current medicine and the treatment of cognitive impairment

Research into different types of cognitive impairment, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as memory in general is ever evolving and technologically advancing while uncovering new information on an almost daily basis. Treatment of cognitive impairment is improving, and clinical trials are repeatedly discovering new breakthroughs.

If you would like to learn more about memory loss, cognitive impairment, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease, or if you have any questions concerning the cognitive wellness of a loved one, please click here to talk with a professional today.

Do you think you or a loved one may be suffering from cognitive impairment?

If you have noticed what you think could be symptoms of cognitive impairment in yourself or a loved one, please talk with a doctor as soon as possible. Reference the link above.

While you can find plenty of cognitive impairment tests online, it is critical to seek the help of a licensed medical professional.

Cognitive impairment symptoms can start slowly and then progress quickly. Please don’t wait to talk with a doctor after the signs worsen. Make the call today.

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3788702/

https://www.psychguides.com/neurological-disorders/cognitive/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4104432/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1123445/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mild-cognitive-impairment/symptoms-causes/syc-20354578

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