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Neurocognitive disorder

Organic mental disorder (OMS); Organic brain syndrome

Neurocognitive disorder is a general term that describes decreased mental function due to a medical disease other than a psychiatric illness. It is often used synonymously (but incorrectly) with dementia.

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Causes

Listed below are conditions associated with neurocognitive disorder.

BRAIN INJURY CAUSED BY TRAUMA

BREATHING CONDITIONS

CARDIOVASCULAR DISORDERS

DEGENERATIVE DISORDERS

DEMENTIA DUE TO METABOLIC CAUSES

DRUG AND ALCOHOL-RELATED CONDITIONS

INFECTIONS

Complications of cancer and cancer treatment with chemotherapy can also lead to neurocognitive disorder.

Other conditions that may mimic organic brain syndrome include:

Symptoms

Symptoms can differ based on the disease. In general, organic brain syndrome causes:

Exams and Tests

Tests depend on the disorder, but may include:

Treatment

Treatment depends on the underlying condition. Many conditions are treated mainly with rehabilitation and supportive care to help the person with activities lost due to areas where brain function is affected.

Medicines may be needed to reduce aggressive behaviors that can occur with some of the conditions.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Some disorders are short-term and reversible. But many are long-term or get worse over time.

Possible Complications

People with neurocognitive disorder often lose the ability to interact with others or function on their own.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if:

Related Information

Confusion
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Huntington disease
Multiple sclerosis
Normal pressure hydrocephalus
Frontotemporal dementia
Alzheimer disease
Arrhythmias
Endocarditis
Myocarditis
Vascular dementia
Stroke
Transient ischemic attack
Chronic subdural hematoma
Concussion
Subarachnoid hemorrhage
Dementia due to metabolic causes
Blue discoloration of the skin
CO2 blood test
Septicemia
Meningitis
Encephalitis
Substance use
Alcohol use and safe drinking
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
Alcohol withdrawal
Parkinson disease
Depression

References

Beck BJ, Tompkins KJ. Mental disorders due to another medical condition. In: Stern TA, Fava M, Wilens TE, Rosenbaum JF, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 21.

Fernandez-Robles C, Greenberg DB, Pirl WF. Psycho-oncology: Psychiatric co-morbidities and complications of cancer and cancer treatment. In: Stern TA, Fava M, Wilens TE, Rosenbaum JF, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 56.

Merrick ST, Jones S, Glesby MJ. Systemic manifestations of HIV/AIDS. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 366.

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Review Date: 2/4/2020  

Reviewed By: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, FAAN, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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