Doctor's Notes on Cognitive Deficits
Cognitive deficits (intellectual disability) describe significant limitations in a person’s ability to learn and function normally. These usually begin in childhood and can range from mild to severe. In some cases children with attention deficits, learning disabilities, communication disorders, or pervasive developmental disorders may be thought to have intellectual disability. Causes of cognitive deficits may include genetic abnormalities (birth defects), fetal malnutrition, premature birth, trauma, suffocation, infections, toxic ingestions, brain damage, central nervous system tumors or cancer, degenerative disorders, and environmental influences.
Signs and symptoms of cognitive deficits that parents may notice may include global developmental delay in early childhood (delays in all areas of development, including language, walking, self-care skills, and/or imitative play), a delay noticed in a child after a younger sibling catches up developmentally to the child with the developmental delay, behavioral issues (such as difficulty toilet training), or difficulties in school.
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Huntington Disease DementiaHuntington disease (HD) is a virus that causes movement disorder and neurological problems. The neurological problems eventually cause cognitive and emotional disabilities that eventually descend into dementia.
Stroke-Related DementiaDementia is a blanket term to describe significant cognitive and memory decay that could be caused by a number of different conditions. A stroke is a bleed or blockage in the blood vessels that may starve parts of the brain of oxygen. Thought and memory impairment due to a stroke is called vascular dementia. Medications and behavioral therapy may prevent further strokes and slow cognitive decline, but stroke damage cannot be repaired after more than a few hours after the event.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.