Following are descriptions and common symptoms, along with links to other resources, for common neuropsychological disorders that we work with at Triangle Neuropsychology Services.

This is for information purposes only, and should not be used as a tool to self-diagnose. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, please consult with your physician.

 

Dementia

There are a variety of types of memory disorders, or dementia. Dementia is a neurological disorder, characterized by memory and other types of thinking problems. Early diagnosis can be helpful in increasing the chances of being able to reverse, slow, or halt progression of the condition. Common symptoms include:

  • Loss of memory.
  • Difficulty performing or completing familiar tasks.
  • Using the wrong words or forgetting simple words.
  • Being disoriented about where you are in time or space.
  • Poor judgment or inability to follow through with basic life skills.
  • Putting things in the wrong places.
  • Changes in mood.
  • Personality changes.
  • Loss of initiative.

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Tramatic Brain injury

Injuries to the brain may be caused by a severe blow to the head, a fall, a car accident or similar trauma. If there is a loss of consciousness or an altered mental state, a brain injury may have occurred. Some symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Memory problems
  • Concentration and attention problems

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, potentially debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It is thought to be an autoimmune disease (one in which the immune system attacks components of your body as if they're foreign), affecting the protective coating of the nerve fibers. Symptoms/signs vary depending on which nerve fibers are affected, but may include:

  • Forgetfulness or difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty retrieving words
  • Problems with multitasking
  • Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs, which typically occurs on one side of your body at a time or the bottom half of your body
  • Partial or complete loss of vision, usually in one eye at a time, often with pain during eye movement
  • Double vision or blurring of vision
  • Tingling or pain in parts of your body
  • Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain head movements
  • Tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

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Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive decline in the ability to control movement, speech and related motor functions controlled by the nervous system. It often includes changes in mood, behavior, thinking and sensation ability too. Early symptoms are sometimes confused with the early effects of aging. Symptoms vary widely but usually show up in one or more of the following:

  • tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face,
  • rigidity, or stiffness of limbs and trunk,
  • slowness of movement,
  • postural instability or declines in balance and coordination,
  • memory disorders in some patients

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HIV/AIDS

Although AIDS is primarily an immune system disorder caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), it (and sometimes the drugs used to treat it) can directly or indirectly affect the nervous system as well. Symptoms may include:

  • Confusion
  • Forgetfulness
  • Behavioral changes
  • Severe headaches
  • Progressive weakness
  • Decline in control of, or loss of sensation in, the arms and legs
  • Stroke
  • Cognitive motor impairment
  • Damage to the peripheral nerves.

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Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder that typically falls into two categories: inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. It typically presents itself during childhood, but sometimes shows up later in life when the greater demands of adulthood (such as long term planning, organization issues and deadlines) begin to challenge someone. ADHD is currently considered a persistent and chronic condition for which no medical cure is available, although medication and therapy can treat symptoms. Symptoms may include:

  • Distractibility
  • Difficulty with concentration and focus
  • Short term memory loss
  • Procrastination
  • Problems organizing ideas and belongings
  • Tardiness
  • Impulsivity
  • Weak planning and execution

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Emotional, or Mood, Disorders

Mood disorders describe conditions in which the prevailing emotional mood is distorted or inappropriate to the circumstances. Two major types are depression and bipolar disorder. Symptoms can include:

  • Sadness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Change in weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Energy loss
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

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