A decreased mental function may include:

  • Changes in behaviour
  • Trouble performing daily activities
  • Problems with memory
  • Difficulty understanding language

There are several factors that may lead to different kinds of neurocognitive disorders; however, nerve cell damage is common in neurocognitive disorders. How these changes/damages affect an individual depends on where in the brain the damage occurred.
There are different types of neurocognitive disorders, namely:

There are different types of neurocognitive disorders, namely:

Alzheimer’s disease – This is a progressive condition that affects memory, thinking, and behaviour. In the early stages, Alzheimer's disease may make it difficult for one to remember recent events, conversations, and names of people. They may also experience depression.

Huntington’s disease – This is a genetic disorder that occurs due to a defect on a chromosome. It may lead to mood changes and depression. An ongoing decline in thinking and reasoning skills may also be experienced. There may also be slurred speech and problems with coordination.

Parkinson’s disease – This is a motor system disorder. It causes symptoms such as trembling, especially tremors in the hands. Depression and behavioural changes may also be experienced. In its later stages, you may experience difficulty speaking and sleep disturbances.


Multiple sclerosis – This is a chronic condition that involves the central nervous system. In multiple sclerosis, the immune system begins to attack the myelin, the protective layer around nerve fibres. It causes temporary lesions and inflammation. These lesions may also lead to lasting lesions caused by scar tissue, making it difficult for the brain to send signals to the rest of the body.

How are neurocognitive disorders treated?

Neurocognitive disorders treatment varies depending on the type of condition and underlying cause. Certain medical conditions may only require rest and medication. Neurodegenerative diseases normally require different types of therapy. Pain medications and antibiotics may be prescribed.

Surgery to repair any severe brain damage may be recommended. Occupational therapy and physical therapy will be recommended to help improve strength, coordination, balance and flexibility.


1What are the risk factors for neurocognitive disorders?
The risk of neurocognitive disorders depends partly on lifestyle and daily habits. Working with heavy metals may increase the risk of neurocognitive disorders. You are more likely to be at risk of neurocognitive disorders if you:
  • Over the age of 60
  • Have diabetes
  • Have a cardiovascular disorder
  • Abuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Participate in sports with a high risk of head trauma, such as rugby and football.
2How are neurocognitive disorders diagnosed?
To accurately diagnose neurocognitive disorders, various diagnostic tests may be performed. These may include a cranial CT scan, head MRI scan, positron emission tomography (PET) scan, or an electroencephalogram (EEG).
3Can a brain injury cause neurocognitive disorder?
Yes, a brain injury may cause neurocognitive disorder.

"Do not only go through pain but grow through pain"





A psychiatrist is a qualified doctor that specialises in the medical treatment of mental health conditions, including substance use disorders. Psychiatrists can assess both mental and physical aspects of psychological conditions and are able to prescribe appropriate medication.