Approximately 50 percent of Parkinson’s disease patients will experience differences in a variety of cognitive skills and mild cognitive changes as their condition progresses. However, this doesn’t mean they have dementia, which is diagnosed when a person experiences problems with more than one cognitive area and the impairment begins to affect daily life.
Cognitive impairment can occur due to stress, particularly if the patient feels they are a burden to their caregiver, are experiencing a decline in daily functioning, have a worsening quality of life, are dealing with rising medical costs, or are concerned about their mortality.
According to the National Parkinson Foundation, some of the common cognitive issues people living with Parkinson’s disease face include:
- Slowness of thinking
- Struggling to find the right words in conversations
- Declining visual perception
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty with problem solving
- Language problems
- Memory problems
- Brain fog
- Lack of reasoning skills
- Declining general intelligence
Some Parkinson’s disease medications can help with areas such as motivation and concentration, but there are no medications that can improve memory function.
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