A history of neurological (MS, tumor), vascular (stroke) or medical conditions (cancer, cardiovascular disease) can have a profound impact on cognition that negatively impacts everyday functioning.
Difficulties with stress, anxiety, depression or other psychiatric disturbances (such as bipolar disorder) can have an impact on attention, memory, and organization / planning ability. These difficulties make it hard to meet the demands of everyday life.
Problems with focus or learning can start young and show up as attention disorders (ADHD) or problems with learning basic skills such as reading (dyslexia), writing (agraphia) and/or math (dyscalculia). These problems are neurologically based and can interfere with important higher level skills necessary as we mature, such as organization, planning and reasoning.
According to the CDC, between 1 and 3 million traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur annually in the U.S. An injury to the brain can be benign or mild like a concussion. Most injuries resulting from a concussion resolve over a span of weeks and untreated symptoms can turn into post concussion syndrome. More severe TBIs can result in changes to thinking, sensation, or emotional function that interfere with the responsibilities of everyday life.
The normal aging process changes our brain. It can cause problems with memory which can cause stress, depression, and lead to other medical conditions. Alzheimer's disease, a type of dementia, describes a process that cause memory problems to such a degree that they consistently interfere with daily functioning. It can look like forgetting to take medications, difficulty managing finances, or repeating questions.