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Neurocognitive Disorders

by: Margaret Bloder

Neurocognitive Disorders PSYCH 3830

Marketplace > Clemson University > Psychlogy > PSYCH 3830 > Neurocognitive Disorders
Margaret Bloder

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About this Document

These notes cover neurocognitive disorders including their organization in the DSM-5, cognitive deficits, etiology, course and treatment and neurocognitive disorder caused by Alzheimer's disease.
Abnormal Psychology
Pam Alley
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Margaret Bloder on Tuesday March 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYCH 3830 at Clemson University taught by Pam Alley in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Abnormal Psychology in Psychlogy at Clemson University.


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Date Created: 03/29/16
Neurocognitive Disorders Category of disorders included in the DSM that is characterized by the development of cognitive deficits -Individual used to function at a high level, now function at a low level because of something that happened I. Overview  All neurocognitive disorders share similar symptoms but are differentiated based on etiology  Cognitive deficits must represent a significant decline from a previous level of functioning  Some Neurocognitive Disorders were referred to as Dementia in earlier editions of the DSM  Senility is frequently used to describe this type of cognitive decline in older people, but it is not a true medical diagnosis II. Cognitive Deficits 1. Aphasia: deterioration of language function oftentimes manifested by difficulty producing the names of individuals and objects 2. Apraxia: impaired ability to execute motor activities despite intact motor abilities, sensory function, and comprehension of the required task 3. Agnosia: failure to recognize or identify objects or people despite intact sensory function (don’t recognize the person or object at all) 4. Disturbances in Executive Functioning: involves the inability to think abstractly and to plan, initiate, sequence, monitor, and stop complex behavior III. Etiology  Symptoms involve cognitive deficiency: all caused by a medical condition or use of a substance  Medical Conditions o Brain injury  Substance o Chronic alcohol use  2/3 of neurocognitive disorders are caused by Alzheimer’s IV. Course and Treatment  Age of onset: depends on etiology, typically begins in late adulthood (65+)  Highest prevalence: over the age of 85  Uncommon in children or adolescents, but can happen (ex: brain tumor)  Gradual onset  In earlier editions of DSM, “dementia” was an official diagnosis; it implied a chronic course, resistant to any care  Now, not all neurocognitive disorders are chronic, but the majority are (ones due to Alzheimer’s are chronic) V. Neurocognitive Disorder Due to Alzheimer’s Disease (Most common neurocognitive disorder) On Alzheimer’s  Irreversible and degenerative brain disease that causes the vast majority of neurocognitive disorders  Most common & most feared disease Onset and Prognosis Increase in frequency Prevalence is increasing Public awareness is increasing Ages 60-64: 1% develop Alzheimer’s Ages 85 +: 40% develop More common in North America and Western Europe than Africa, India, and SE Asia Onset is gradual/continuous cognitive decline Slightly more common in females (partially because women tend to live longer lives Early & Late Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease Early Onset  Begins at or before 65 years  Less common  Greater genetic contribution  More rapid progression Late Onset  Begins after 65 years  More common  Greater environmental contribution  Slowly progressive Symptoms 1. At onset: deficit in memory (earliest symptom)  Most impacted early on: ability to recall recent events (ex: where did I put my keys?) 2. Progressive symptoms: confusion, disorientation, restlessness, agitation, irritability (ex: drive to friends house and don’t remember how to get home) 3. Final stage symptoms: bedridden, inability to use or understand language, inability to recognize people, inability to control bodily functions Etiology Strong genetic component: concordance rate is higher for monozygotic twins (but not 100%) Possible risk factors: o Obesity o Physical inactivity o Depression o Type 2 diabetes o Smoking o Low SES o Head trauma  Preventative measures: o Making dietary changes (diet high in fish, eggs, seeds, nuts) o Taking ibuprofen o Exercising o Engaging in mentally stimulating activities (crossword puzzles, learn an instrument) Diagnosis  Difficult to diagnose a living person because there are 50 different causes for dementia (hard to know if Alzheimer’s is causing it)  Different tests are done (interview, physical, lab tests, brain scans, etc.) to rule out other potential causes  Autopsy and physically examine the brain to know for sure Treatment  No cure  Slow down the progress/extend the person’s life o Medication o Antidepressants can help to treat depressive symptoms o Cognitive and behavioral therapy  Attend to the families needs o Counseling  Today, there’s more of an emphasis on preventing the onset since there is no cure once a person has the disease


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