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Neurocognitive disorders

Neurocognitive disorders are characterized by primary clinical deficits in cognitive functioning that are acquired rather than developmental. That is, neurocognitive disorders do not include disorders characterized by deficits in cognitive function that are present from birth or that arise during the developmental period, which are classified in the grouping neurodevelopmental disorders. Rather, neurocognitive disorders represent a decline from a previously attained level of functioning. Although cognitive deficits are present in many mental disorders (e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorders), only disorders whose core features are cognitive are included in the neurocognitive Disorders grouping. In cases where the underlying pathology and etiology for neurocognitive disorders can be determined, the identified etiology should be classified separately.

Neurocognitive disorders are

  • Delirium
  • Mild neurocognitive disorder
  • Amnestic disorder
  • Dementia
  • Secondary neurocognitive syndrome


Dementia is an acquired brain syndrome characterized by a decline from a previous level of cognitive functioning with impairment in two or more cognitive domains (such as memory, executive functions, attention, language, social cognition and judgment, psychomotor speed, visuoperceptual or visuospatial abilities). The cognitive impairment is not entirely attributable to normal aging and significantly interferes with independence in the person’s performance of activities of daily living. Based on available evidence, the cognitive impairment is attributed or assumed to be attributable to a neurological or medical condition that affects the brain, trauma, nutritional deficiency, chronic use of specific substances or medications, or exposure to heavy metals or other toxins.

Types of Dementia are

  • Dementia due to Alzheimer disease
  • Vascular dementia
  • Dementia due to Lewy body disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Dementia due to psychoactive substances including medications
  • Dementia due to diseases classified elsewhere
  • Dementia, unknown or unspecified cause