Cognitive Symptoms of Other Diseases

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Other Cognitive Disorders

In addition to memory complaint, mild cognitive impairment, and various types of dementia, the staff of the Barrow Cognitive Disorders Center sees patients with other conditions that involve memory and thinking. These include (but are not limited to):

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

What is normal pressure hydrocephalus?

In Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), too much fluid accumulates within the ventricles, or cavities, of the brain. In addition to memory symptoms, it can cause difficulty walking and impair bladder control.

How is normal pressure hydrocephalus diagnosed?

CT or MRI scans of the brain can suggest the presence of NPH. If NPH is suspected, a spinal tap is performed and a large volume of spinal fluid is removed. If the patient improves after this procedure, NPH is the most likely diagnosis.

What is the treatment for normal pressure hydrocephalus?

NPH can be treated by a surgical procedure in which a tube is placed inside the brain and the extra fluid within the brain is harmlessly shunted to another body cavity. Once there, it is reabsorbed into the bloodstream.


Traumatic Brain Injury

What are the effects of brain injuries on memory and thinking?

Most brain injuries (for example, concussions) do not cause significant changes in memory and thinking. More serious injuries, however, can cause cognitive symptoms that range from subtle difficulties with concentration and attention to devastating impairment. Some of these symptoms lessen over time, while others are more persistent.

How do we evaluate the effects of brain injuries on memory and thinking?

A neurological examination and neuropsychological testing can help measure the extent and nature of cognitive deficits after a brain injury.

What are the treatments for cognitive symptoms from brain injury?

Cognitive rehabilitation and vocational retraining can help people overcome and cope with memory and thinking problems that result from traumatic brain injury. In some cases, medications also can be used.


Multiple Sclerosis

What are the cognitive and behavioral symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the brain and spinal cord. It causes a wide variety of different physical signs and symptoms, including:
  • weakness
  • blindness
  • dizziness
  • unstable walking

Some patients with MS also have problems with memory and thinking or emotional/behavioral symptoms that can be attributed to the disease.

Can these symptoms be treated?

Cognitive symptoms in MS may respond to drugs like donepezil (Aricept®). Emotional and behavioral symptoms also may be treated by antidepressants.


Medication Overuse

Large doses of some medications often cause people to become confused, even if medication is taken exactly as prescribed. Reducing or rearranging the drugs a person is taking can often result in remarkable improvement of their mental state.
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Barrow Neurological Institute
350 W. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85013
(602) 406-3000