Cognitive disturbance

What is cognitive disturbance?
cognitive disturbance

The cognitive disturbance is the medical term for attention, thinking, and memory problems. Around 70% of cancer patients suffer from cognitive disturbance. Cancer patients have them even after treatment. Attention, thinking, and memory problems can be more or less severe. Even mild problems can make daily activities difficult.

How bad is my cognitive disturbance?

Mild: Not interfering with work/school/life performance; specialized educational services/devices not indicated.

Moderate: Interfering with work/school/life performance, capable of independent living; specialized resources on a part-time basis indicated.

Severe: Significant impairment of work/school/life performance.

How to manage mild cognitive disturbance?
  • Keep a checklist of daily reminders.
  • Color code or label certain cabinets or drawers where you store things at home.
  • Put things back in the same place every time.
  • Get rid of clutter (extra papers, books, and other items) around your home.
  • Opt for specific rehabilitation and training.
  • Do things that exercise your brain (puzzles, word games, painting, playing an instrument or learning a new hobby).
  • Do one thing at a time.
  • Use word play(making up a rhyme), to help you remember things.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Physical exercise (walking, swimming, or gardening) helps your brain stay alert. Yoga or meditation can help you relax and clear your mind.
How to manage moderate and severe cognitive disturbance?

Seek immediate medical care if you have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness
  • Change in mental status or sudden behavior change (confusion, delirium, lethargy, hallucinations)
  • Garbled or slurred speech or inability to speak
  • High Fever (101< degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Paralysis or inability to move a body part
  • Seizure
  • Stiff or rigid neck
  • Sudden change in vision, loss of vision, or eye pain
  • Trauma to the head
  • Worst headache
What causes cognitive disturbance?

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