Symptoms Of Major Neurocognitive Disorder: Understanding The Condition

Major Neurocognitive Disorder, previously known as dementia, is a condition that affects a person’s cognitive abilities, including memory, thinking, and communication.

Understanding Major Neurocognitive Disorder

Major Neurocognitive Disorder is a progressive condition that develops slowly over time. It primarily affects individuals over the age of 65 and is more prevalent in seniors. However, it can also affect younger adults, albeit less commonly.

The symptoms of the condition generally worsen as the condition progresses, and it could have a significant impact on a person’s life. In the early stages of the condition, people with Major Neurocognitive Disorder may experience mild memory loss, such as forgetting recent events, misplacing items, and struggling to find the right words. As the condition progresses, they may struggle with essential daily activities, such as dressing or bathing, and may require significant assistance from their caregivers.

Major Neurocognitive Disorder can have a profound impact on a person’s physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing. It can also affect their social interactions and relationships with others.

Symptoms Of Major Neurocognitive Disorder

The symptoms of Major Neurocognitive Disorder can vary from person to person, and the severity of the condition can also vary. However, there are some common symptoms that may indicate that a person is suffering from the condition. These symptoms include:

  • Memory problems: Memory loss is one of the most common symptoms of Major Neurocognitive Disorder. People with the condition may forget important dates, names, and events or may repeat things frequently.
  • Difficulty with language skills: Language skills are also affected by the condition, making it difficult for a person to find the right words or follow a conversation.
  • Difficulty with problem-solving: People with Major Neurocognitive Disorder may have difficulty solving problems, concentrating on tasks or may have trouble figuring out complex tasks.
  • Mood swings: The condition can also cause mood swings, where a person may become agitated, irritable, or experience depression.
  • Disorientation: Disorientation is also common in people with Major Neurocognitive Disorder, and they may struggle with spatial awareness and lose their sense of direction.
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities: A person suffering from the condition may lose interest in their hobbies and activities that they previously enjoyed.

The Causes Of Major Neurocognitive Disorder

There is no single cause of Major Neurocognitive Disorder, and several factors can contribute to the development of this condition. Some of the common causes of Major Neurocognitive Disorder include:

  • Age: The risk of developing Major Neurocognitive Disorder increases with age.
  • Genetics: Certain genetic factors can increase the risk of developing the condition.
  • Environmental factors: Environmental factors such as exposure to toxins can also contribute to the development of the condition.
  • Lifestyle factors: Certain lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and unhealthy diet can also increase the risk of developing Major Neurocognitive Disorder.

The Diagnosis And Treatment Of Major Neurocognitive Disorder

Diagnosing Major Neurocognitive Disorder typically involves a comprehensive evaluation of the individual’s medical history, physical and neurological examination, and cognitive tests. Doctors may also conduct imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans to identify any changes in the brain structure.

Once diagnosed, the treatment of Major Neurocognitive Disorder typically aims to manage the symptoms and improve the individual’s quality of life. Treatment approaches may include medication to manage symptoms such as depression and anxiety, occupational therapy to help the individual maintain their independence, and cognitive therapy to improve their thinking and memory abilities.

It is essential to note that there is no cure for Major Neurocognitive Disorder, and treatment focuses on managing the symptoms and slowing down the progression of the condition.

Living With Major Neurocognitive Disorder

Living with Major Neurocognitive Disorder can be challenging for the person affected by the condition and their caregivers. People with the condition may require significant assistance with daily activities, and their caregivers may need to manage their behavioural and mood changes.

However, several strategies can help an individual with Major Neurocognitive Disorder and their caregivers navigate life with the condition more effectively. These strategies include:

  • Developing a routine to help the person with the condition maintain structure and consistency in their life.
  • Simplifying daily activities to make them more manageable for the person with the condition.
  • Creating a visual reminder system, such as labelling drawers and rooms, or using picture cues to make it easier for the person with the condition to find things.
  • Maintaining social connections to prevent social isolation and loneliness.
  • Encouraging a healthy lifestyle, such as regular exercise, balanced diet, and stress management techniques.

Conclusion

Major Neurocognitive Disorder is a condition that affects a person’s cognitive abilities, including memory, thinking, and communication. It can have a profound impact on their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being, as well as social interactions and relationships with others. While the condition can be challenging, several strategies can help individuals with Major Neurocognitive Disorder and their caregivers navigate the condition more effectively and maintain their quality of life.

FAQs

FAQs about Symptoms of Major Neurocognitive Disorder

What are the common symptoms of major neurocognitive disorder?

Major neurocognitive disorder is a decline in cognitive abilities. Symptoms may include memory problems, difficulty in language, reasoning, making decisions, and performing daily tasks. These symptoms interfere with daily functioning and may worsen with time.

What causes major neurocognitive disorder?

Major neurocognitive disorder can be caused by various factors, including aging, genetics, diseases, brain injury, and substance abuse. It can also be a result of other medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

How is major neurocognitive disorder diagnosed and treated?

Diagnosis is usually based on a thorough neurological exam, cognitive testing, and medical history. Treatment is dependent on the underlying cause. Medications such as cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine may be prescribed to improve cognitive function. A combination of medications, therapy, and lifestyle changes may be recommended to manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals with major neurocognitive disorders.


References

1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596

2. Knopman, D. S., & Petersen, R. C. (2014). Mild cognitive impairment and mild neurocognitive disorder: DSM-5 criteria, prevalence, and outcome. Journal of the American Medical Association, 312(23), 2551-2552. doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.13806

3. Krueger, K. R., Wilson, R. S., Bennett, D. A., Aggarwal, N. T., & Barnes, L. L. (2009). Neurocognitive impairment and mortality in a community-based cohort of older adults. Neurology, 73(9), 761-767. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181b16364