|Photo by Keoni Cabral.|
For this reason, the American Psychological Association (APA) scrutinized the origins of "dementia"-- which is tied to "madness" -- and introduced a new term.
"Neuro" refers to the physical brain.
"Cognititive" refers to the thought processes within the brain.
The term "disorder" recognizes that there is a medical cause for problems residing in the brain or thoughts.
Furthermore, disorders are categorized as "major" or "minor" NCD.
This term took shape in 2008 as a result of an APA workgroup.
However, neurocognitive disorder did not become formally recognized until the May 2013 publication of the APA's DSM 5 Manual--one of many changes.
Dementias, such as those addressed by the Alzheimer's Organization, are not the only type of disorders falling under this new umbrella term NCD.
For example, problems due traumatic brain injury (TBI) and problems due to advanced HIV are also types of neurocognitive disorder.
I first encountered the term NCD while reading the introduction to Marc Agrogin's 2015 book, The Dementia Caregiver: A Guide to Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's Disease and Other Neurocognitive Disorders.
Doctors and hospitals must now use DSM 5 classification systems in order to file insurance, so NCD is becoming established in those realms.
While medical researchers and clinicians might be using "neurocognitive disorder" to describe various disorders of the brain/mind, most lay people, including support groups, persist in using the more recognized--and shorter--term "dementia."
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