What Diseases Can Affect Cognitive Function?

Updated on July 8, 2022

Cognitive function is an important part of our daily lives. It allows us to think, reason, and remember. Unfortunately, there are a number of diseases that can affect cognitive function. Keep reading to learn more about these diseases and how they can impact your life.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is just one of many diseases that can affect cognitive function. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys memory and thinking skills. The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown, but it’s believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include difficulty remembering names and events, confusion about time and place, problems with language, disorientation in familiar surroundings, poor judgement, and changes in mood or behavior. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are treatments available that can help delay the progression of the disease. The early signs of Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult to distinguish from normal age-related changes, but there are some clues that may suggest the presence of the disease. One of the most common early symptoms is difficulty with planning and organizing tasks, such as grocery shopping or cooking a meal. People with Alzheimer’s may also have trouble remembering recent events or conversations, misplace objects regularly, or become lost in familiar places. In later stages of the disease, individuals may experience profound confusion and lose the ability to speak coherently. There is no single test for diagnosing Alzheimer’s, so diagnosis typically requires a combination of clinical evaluation and imaging tests such as MRI or CT scan.



Dementia is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes significant declines in cognitive function. It most commonly affects older adults, and symptoms can include memory loss, difficulties with thinking and problem-solving, and changes in mood or behavior. While the cause of dementia is not always known, it is thought to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is no cure for dementia, but treatments are available that can help improve quality of life for patients.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord. MS can damage the myelin sheath—the protective coating surrounding nerve fibers—and disrupt communication between the brain and other parts of the body. This can lead to problems with movement, coordination, balance, vision, speech, and cognitive function. Most people with MS experience a gradual onset of symptoms that worsen over time. However, some people have a sudden onset of more severe symptoms. The cause of MS is unknown, but it is believed to be an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. There is no cure for MS, but there are treatments available that can help manage symptoms.


An ischemic stroke, also known as a cerebral infarction, occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. This can be due to a blockage in an artery (thrombosis) or a burst blood vessel (hemorrhage). When the brain does not receive oxygen-rich blood, it can lead to tissue death and permanent damage. Symptoms of an ischemic stroke may include sudden onset of confusion, trouble speaking or understanding language, numbness or weakness on one side of the body, and difficulty walking.



Brain tumors are masses or lumps that grow in or around the brain. They can be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). These tumors can affect cognitive function by pressing on parts of the brain, causing headaches, seizures, and other problems.

Overall, diseases that can affect cognitive function are important to be aware of because they can significantly impact daily life. Many of these diseases are treatable, so it is important to be proactive and seek medical help if cognitive decline is noticed.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.