The Diagnostic Statistical Manual-5 (DSM-5) distinguishes between "mild" and "major" neurocognitive disorders. Mild neurocognitive disorders include cognitive changes, regardless of age, that do not significantly interfere with daily functioning and independence. A friend or family member may suspect these changes, but they should be documented by neuropsychological testing. Mild cognitive disorders can later escalate into conditions such as Alzheimer's, but not all do.
Previously known as "dementia," neurocognitive disorders can have different causes, from Alzheimer's disease (the most common) to traumatic brain injury. Typically, cognitive performance in areas such as memory, language, perceptual-motor abilities, and social interaction is affected to the point that assistance is needed with daily activities, such as managing financial affairs.
Major cognitive disorders can result from any of the following: