Cognitive impairment: what it is, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Written by: Leticia Pérez del Tío
Edited by: Top Doctors®


What is cognitive impairment?

When we speak of cognitive impairment first thing we have to do is define what cognition. Cognition is knowledge, we know how and why people. Therefore, cognitive impairment studies what and how it is altered when the first symptoms of memory deficits, language, attention and calculation appear.


How cognitive impairment diagnosed?

Cognition is influenced by biological, psychological and social factors. I will focus on the latter two.

To assess the psychological factors affecting cognition we have to determine what is the mood what the situation stress that the patient, what social relationships are, what occupational roles, work that has had, which plays are, or he played by the person. All this part and gives us important information to later encardinar the results we have of neuropsychological assessment.

Neuropsychological assessment is a detailed analysis of the cognitive functions, attention, study, memory, language, visuospatial functions, visuoconstructive, executive functions ... all this needs analysis by neuropsychological tests to determine us what the changes are and what capabilities are preserved that person


What is the treatment of cognitive impairment?

When there is involvement of some cognitive function we first need to know it is the origin. I will put aside all biological causes and I will focus on the most neuropsychological causes.

Once we have cognitive impairment unknown etiology can support the patient to focus on areas that are not affected. The work from the point of view of non-pharmacological treatment focuses on cognitive stimulation combined with physical activity and nutrition. And another very important issue is to try to control all cardiovascular risk factors, since it has been studied and there is much scientific evidence of how issues affect brain function such as hypertension, diabetes or cholesterol.


How to detect it and how it can help the family?

A basic question when we are talking about cognitive impairment is early detection. When a family or a person begins to observe changes in their cognitive function, can not remember things as before, difficult to find the words, has difficulty planning activities that you previously were not expensive, it is important to consult your primary care it will refer you to a specialist.

A key aspect for the quality of life of an elderly person with cognitive impairment is the support of his family. So that the family can support a patient of these features you need information, you need to understand what's happening, why it is happening and what you can do. That information is what we facilitate the consultation after making a thorough evaluation we try to answer these questions.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Leticia Pérez del Tío

Psychogerontology health psychologist and expert in clinical neuropsychology. In 2001 he founded Iubilate, psychogerontology company specializing in neuropsychology and is the director and founder-partner. In 2010 he created the Unit of Cognitive Impairment in the NISA Pardo de Aravaca Hospital, which is aimed at early detection and treatment of people with cognitive impairment from a comprehensive approach

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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