Glossary of Medical Terms

Cognitive Impairment

Cognitive impairment occurs when there is a problem with perceiving, thinking, or remembering. Strokes are a common cause of cognitive impairment; other causes include head injuries and some chronic diseases, such as sickle cell disease or multiple sclerosis.

Cognitive impairment may cause difficulties with:

  • Memory, especially short-term memory.

  • Problem solving.

  • Attention span, especially in a mental task such as a math calculation.

  • Expressing oneself, such as finding the right words to use in a conversation.

Treatment for cognitive impairment depends on the cause. 

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