Cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s?

November 06, 2017

Cognitive disorders are conditions that cause individuals to have difficulty thinking clearly and precisely. They can impair perception, memory, communication, reasoning, judgment, or socially appropriate behavior. These cognitive impairments can also affect mood, functional activities and behavior. The initial symptoms of cognitive impairment may be perceived as a decline in mood, function or behavior. 

It is not commonly known that the majority of individuals with cognitive impairment do not have Alzheimer’s disease or other degenerative brain diseases. In primary care settings, more than half of individuals with cognitive impairment do not have Alzheimer’s disease. The majority of those with cognitive impairment have a treatable cause, provided it is detected early. We support annual monitoring of cognitive ability after age 45, as early detection and correct diagnosis and treatment of cognitive impairment is vitally important.

Throughout Providence St. Joseph Health, resources are available to patients and families who are working through the processes of diagnosis, treatment and support. Contact us today at 844-552-2734 to reach our Patient and Provider Engagement Center to connect you to the best resources closest to you.

Dr. William Shankle discusses Alzheimer’s and Cognitive Disorders: