Cognitive disorders, involving conditions that significantly impact learning, memory, perception, and problem-solving, are a major health concern worldwide. Understanding the causes and risk factors for these disorders is critical. In this article, Evoke Neuroscience will discuss what contributes to cognitive disorders and how these insights can inform prevention and treatment strategies.
What Causes Cognitive Disorders?
Cognitive disorders can usually arise from a variety of anatomical causes. First of all, certain neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia result from progressive brain cell damage and death.
Other than that, traumatic brain injuries, strokes, or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) can lead to cognitive disorders. Aside from that, certain infections affecting the brain, such as HIV, meningitis, or prion diseases, can lead to cognitive impairment.
Also, chronic use of drugs or alcohol can lead to cognitive disorders. Moreover, withdrawal from these substances can trigger delirium, a temporary but severe form of cognitive impairment. Lastly, deficiency of certain vitamins, especially B1 (thiamine) and B12, can result in cognitive disorders.
Some Risk Factors for Cognitive Disorders
Several factors can increase the likelihood of developing cognitive disorders. First of all, the risk of many cognitive disorders, including dementia, increases with age. However, cognitive disorders are not a normal part of aging and can occur in people of any age.
Having a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) with a cognitive disorder increases the risk, indicating a genetic component in many such conditions. Evoke Neuroscience Also, smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and excessive alcohol use are associated with an increased risk of cognitive disorders.
Chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease can increase the risk of cognitive impairment. Also, depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric conditions have been linked to an increased risk of cognitive disorders. Finally, individuals with less formal education may have a higher risk for some cognitive disorders, possibly due to lesser cognitive reserves.