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Cognitive and learning disorders

Related Terms

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Background

  • Cognitive function, also called cognitive performance or cognition, refers to the ability of an individual to think, process, and store information in order to solve problems. Humans are the only organisms capable of cognition.
  • Cognitive disorders are characterized by delirium, dementia, and/or amnesia. Delirium is a term used to describe a confused mental state in which a patient has difficulty processing and interpreting information. Dementia is the loss of mental ability that is so severe that it interferes with daily functioning. Amnesia may cause difficulty remembering previously learned information. Patients with cognitive disorders may experience one or more of these symptoms.
  • Treatment for cognitive disorders depends on the underlying cause. Most disorders are incurable and some may have devastating effects. For instance, Alzheimer's disease eventually leads to complete cognitive impairment. Treatment may help delay progression of such disorders. Other disorders, such as age-associated memory impairment (AAMI) may only cause mild symptoms.
  • Cognitive learning disabilities occur when individuals have difficulty interpreting or processing what they see or hear. There is a gap between the patient's intelligence and his/her ability to perform. Patients may have difficulties with spoken and written language, self-control, coordination, and/or attention. As a result, patients may have a hard time with schoolwork or performing tasks at work.
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Common Types of Cognitive Disorders and Disabilities

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Signs and Symptoms

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Complications

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Improving Work and School Performance

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Tips For Caregivers, Friends, and Family Members

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.