The Comparison between Two Cognitive Impairments: Dementia and Schizophrenia Essay

The Comparison between Two Cognitive Impairments: Dementia and Schizophrenia

Comparison between Two Cognitive Impairments

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            A cognitive impairment means that there is a change in how a person thinks, how he reacts to emotions, or how he behaves. It may be inborn or may occur later in a person’s life (Preston, 2001). There are several kinds of cognitive impairments and these include dementia and schizophrenia, which will be briefly discussed in this paper regarding their similarities and differences in their causes as well as consequences.

            Dementia is a brain problem that makes it difficult for a person to remember, converse and learn things, eventually making it hard for that person to take care of himself. On the other hand, schizophrenia is a severe, chronic and disabling brain disorder. People having this disorder may hear voices that other people don’t hear or they may believe that others are controlling their thoughts or reading their minds. As mentioned, these impairments might be incurred by a person when he was born or later in his life.

They just differ when it comes to their causes. Dementia is caused by the destruction of brain cells. Damaged brain cells are caused by a head injury, brain tumor or a disease. According to experts, dementia can be inherited (Santacruz & Swagerty, 2001). Conversely, schizophrenia is also said to be hereditary. It is believed to result from the combination of both environmental and genetic factors. However there’s no definite cause of this disorder. Individuals with this disorder may develop significant loss of interest or pleasure and some may develop mood abnormalities such as depression, anxiety or anger. Often there is day-night reversal and the person is seen to have abnormal movements (Long, 2008). The person who has schizophrenia is also seen to have poor memory and problem-solving disability. People with dementia, on the other hand, also experiences declines in any or all areas of intellectual functioning like that of schizophrenia. And these losses not only impair the person’s ability to function independently but also have a negative impact on quality of life and relationships.


Long, P.W. (2008). Schizophrenia. Retrieved May 4, 2009 from Internet Mental Health


Preston, K. (2001). Cognitive Impairments. Retrieved May 4, 2009 from medicineonline


Santacruz, K.S., Swagerty D. (2001). Early Diagnosis of Dementia. Retrieved May 3, 2009 from

            American Family Physician database.


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