In short, cognitive aging means that as we get older, our mental functions become less nimble and flexible, and many aspects of our memory get a little worse. We also become more easily distracted by busy environments, and it takes more effort to work through complex problems and decisions.
Cognition refers to the “higher” brain functions such as memory and reasoning. About half of all people with MS will not experience any cognitive changes, but for others, the most commonly affected aspects of cognition are: Memory.
Information processing. Word-finding. Visual and spatial organization (such as driving or reading a map) Ability to shift between tasks.
Some of the most common signs of cognitive disorder include:
Examples of memory and thinking problems that might be seen in someone with mild cognitive impairment include:
Brain health can be affected by age-related changes in the brain, injuries such as stroke or traumatic brain injury, mood disorders such as depression, substance use disorder or addiction, and diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. 7
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1: of, relating to, being, or involving conscious intellectual activity (such as thinking, reasoning, or remembering) cognitive impairment. 2: based on or capable of being reduced to empirical factual knowledge.
Factors affecting cognitive impairment that have been identified so far include age, educational period, gender [6-10], health life factors such as drinking and smoking , depression , social factors such as social activity and occupation, history of disease, and body mass index (BMI) .
Dementia is a decline in cognitive function. To be considered dementia, mental impairment must affect at least two brain functions. Dementia may affect: memory. thinking.
In general, however, the symptoms of cognitive decline that are associated with aging include: Slower inductive reasoning / slower problem solving. Diminished spatial orientation. Declines in perceptual speed.
It consists of a three-item recall test for memory and a scored clock-drawing test. The results are evaluated by a health provider to determine if a full-diagnostic assessment is needed. The Geriatric Depression Scale is brief survey instrument that can be used to initially assess depression in older adults.
Signs of cognitive decline
Cognitive impairment in older adults has a variety of possible causes, including medication side effects; metabolic and/or endocrine derangements; delirium due to illness (such as a urinary tract or COVID-19 infection); depression; and dementia, with Alzheimer’s dementia being most common.
Cognitive skills are the essential qualities your brain utilizes to think, listen, learn, understand, justify, question, and pay close attention.
The four cognitive severity stages spanning normal aging to dementia are: