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Trauma (physical injury) to the head can lead to cognitive and memory problems similar to dementia. Symptoms depend upon the severity of the trauma and what part of the brain was affected. Potential symptoms of a head injury include dizziness, headache, vertigo, memory and cognitive (thinking) problems, sleeping problems, restlessness, irritability, apathy, depression, and anxiety. If the injury is severe, the person may lose many higher level mental skills. Common examples are the loss of the ability to retain past memories and/or the ability to form new ones.
In its extreme forms, memory loss is called amnesia. Milder injuries may include symptoms like difficulty concentrating, paying attention, and attending to so-called "executive functions" (planning, organizing, abstract reasoning, problem solving, and making judgments). Emotional changes may also be seen following head trauma, including, depression, anxiety, emotional outbursts, agitation, irritability, and impulsiveness.
Treatment for these injuries commonly includes medications, counseling, and/or occupational therapy. Review the resources below to learn much more about trauma-related dementia.
- Facts About Dementia: Overview
- Finding Dementia Care
- Getting Financial Help for Dementia Care
- Alzheimer's Disease: Introduction
- Vascular Dementia: Introduction
- Lewy Body Dementia: Introduction
- Frontotemporal Dementia: Introduction
- Other Types of Dementia
- Diagnosing Dementia
- Treating Dementia