You go about your days with little or no thought about how you effortlessly do it, which relies on cognition. Cognition is a process the brain undertakes in every aspect of your life, ranging from memory, thinking, judgment, language, and learning new things. You may need cognitive testing Atlanta if you have difficulty remembering, concentrating, learning, or making routine decisions. Cognitive testing is usually a standard in wellness visits for elderly adults, but cognitive impairment is not only age-based. For instance, if you realize you forget your appointments, or some words, frequently misplace items, have trouble understanding and enjoying books or movies, or are often anxious and easily irritable, you may have cognitive impairment.
Cognitive impairment ranges from mild, where you can still manage your daily activities, to severe, which means your ability to understand or communicate is impaired, and you can hardly live independently. Besides aging, cognitive impairment can be caused by the following:
Medication side effect
Cognitive impairment could be drug-induced, commonly seen in older adults. The prevalence is partially attributed to the likely renal and liver function impairment in older adults. Anticonvulsants, anti-depressants, psychoactive drugs, and anticholinergic medications can cause acute or chronic cognitive impairment. Drugs like cardiac mediation and non-psychoactive medication are also associated with an increased risk of chronic cognitive impairment. If you think medication makes you forgetful or affects your brain function, you should talk to your doctor. When detected early, such drug toxicity can be addressed to avoid further deterioration, including withdrawal of the agent causing the impairment.
Vascular diseases can damage your brain’s blood vessels. This affects how well the brain is replenished, and as adequate oxygen is not delivered, brain cells are damaged. The damage leads to diminishing function, referred to as vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). Besides causing VCI, vascular diseases can also aggravate other brain concerns like Alzheimer’s disease. This means that brain function can severely decline to the extent that routines like bathing and dressing become overly difficult.
Sleep disorders mean you do not get adequate rest. Short-term daytime cognitive impairment is the prevalent problem associated with lack of sleep. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia cause significant sleep deprivation, leading to long-term cognitive decline. People with sleep disorders are at high risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, characterized by severe cognitive impairment. The situation is worse since sleep deprivation also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions that results in depression and cognitive problems.
Nutritional deficiencies cause various health problems. Vitamin D and B12 are associated with brain fog risk and can escalate to impaired cognition and memory.
Hypothyroidism symptoms include depressed moods, mental slowness, and decreased memory, which are cognitive impairments.
Cognitive impairment is often associated with aging and mental concerns like stress and depression. Nonetheless, the impairment could be due to other factors, as highlighted above, emphasizing the need for cognitive testing more so when you experience concerns like forgetfulness. Visit Psychiatric Consultants of Atlanta today for cognitive testing.