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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Cognitive Impairment
      Category : Health Centers > Disabilities

Cognitive Impairment

Alternate Names : Cognitive Disorder, Cognitive Disability

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

A cognitive impairment means there is a change in how a person thinks, reacts to emotions, or behaves.

What is going on in the body?

A person can be born with a cognitive impairment. In this case, it is usually termed mental retardation. It may result from a birth injury, such as a lack of oxygen. It may also result from a defect as the baby was formed. A cognitive impairment also may occur later in life, following an injury or as part of a disease.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

A cognitive impairment may be present when a child is born, which is known as mental retardation. It may also be the result of:

  • abuse of prescription medicines, chemicals, street drugs, or alcohol
  • a disease, such as Alzheimer disease
  • a side effect of some medicines
  • a trauma such as head injury
  • Frail, elderly people who are removed from a familiar setting often develop cognitive problems. This may occur when they go to a hospital because of illness or when they are moved to a nursing home. Depending on the cause, cognitive impairments may be temporary or permanent.


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    Cognitive Impairment: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Karen Preston, PHN, MS, CRRN
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 09/25/01

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