Cognitive impairment Is a comprehensive term that incorporates
a variety of ailments, genetic and acquired, and brain damage caused via
accidents. It is defined as difficulty processing thoughts that lead to memory
loss, decision-making difficulties, inability to concentrate, and learning
difficulties. This impairment is not confined to people of a certain age,
gender or any other demographic. Anyone can be impaired through an action,
inaction, or a genetic abnormality (U.S. DOH, 2011).
Cognitive impairment ranges from mild to
severe in adult and children suffering from range of disorders. People with
mild impairment may notice changes in cognitive functions and still be able to carry
on with their everyday task. Severe levels of impairment can lead to losing the
ability to understand the meaning or importance of something, the ability to
talk or write, resulting in the inability to live independently.
Risk factors include -;
Genetic Factors; – abnormal genes inherited from
parents, i.e. Down Syndrome or Fragile X syndrome.
during pregnancy; – when the baby does not develop properly due to alcohol
consumption or infections may affect how baby’s cells divide.
– Problems at
birth; – not getting enough oxygen at birth does impact on the baby.
problems; – other health conditions may impact on a person’s cognitive ability
i.e. infections, (UTI and pneumonia), Vitamin Deficiency, dehydration and
reactions to medication
– These can
lead to long-term cognitive impairments such as Dementia, stroke or head
disability is not a specific disease. Therefore, there is no specific time of
onset for intellectual disability. However, diagnostic criteria require
childhood onset, before the age of 18. If the problems begin after age
eighteen, the correct diagnosis is neurocognitive disorder (U.S. DOH,
2011 and Michigan
Alliance for Families, 2017).