Cognitive deficits (intellectual disability) begin in childhood and cause impaired ability to learn and function. Impairment level is categorized as mild, moderate, severe, or profound. Causes include genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome, premature birth, exposure to toxins, and others. Symptoms include developmental delay, behavioral issues, or difficulties in school. There is no specific treatment, but some may benefit from dietary changes, medications, and therapies.
Dementia is the loss of reasoning, memory, and other mental abilities. Dementia may be caused by irreversible causes such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's dementia, lewy body dementia, and vascular dementia. There are also treatable causes of dementia such as infections, head injury, normal hydrocephalus, and metabolic and hormonal disorders. Early symptoms of dementia include:
- Forgetting appointments and names, and loosing things
- Difficulties performing familiar tasks (driving, cooking, household chores)
- Personality changes
- Mood swings
- Paranoia and suspiciousness
A variety of tests (blood tests, scans, assessment of family history) may be used to diagnose dementia. Treatment may include medication and behavioral therapy.