Cognitive impairment

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Cognitive impairment occurs when there is a problem with perceiving, thinking, or remembering. Strokes are a common cause of cognitive impairment. Other causes include head injuries and some chronic diseases, such as sickle cell disease or multiple sclerosis.

Cognitive impairment may cause difficulties with:

  • Memory, especially short-term memory.
  • Problem solving.
  • Attention span, especially in a mental task such as a math calculation.
  • Expressing oneself, such as finding the right words to use in a conversation.

Therapy may help a person make the most of his or her abilities.




The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.