Does Cognitive Decline Lead To Behavioral And Personality Changes?

Cognitive decline often accompanies aging and the development of a cognitive disorder. Cognitive disorders also surface as symptoms of a mental disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

Commonly, however, a dip in one’s cognitive function surfaces as he climbs up the age ladder. Aging brings forth Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which every other senior individual faces. Only certain cases of MCI culminate in Alzheimer’s disease. Both cases, however, culminate in a drop in cognitive well-being.

Cognitive Decline and Behavior Changes

It is a common observation that older folks become irritable and moody as their age increases. The mood swings and irritability further increases as symptoms of MCI and cognitive decline show up.

These behavior changes make sense if you put yourself in a familiar situation. For instance, in the case of illness or infection that lasts longer than anticipated, a patient becomes irritable. He may even start feeling depressive because his daily life activities are hindered and movement is restricted due to the ailment.

The same is the case with people with a cognitive disorder. People start noticing changes in their brain’s functioning, which is why they become confused. This culminates in behavioral changes that develop into personality changes in the long haul.

So, there is a lot of truth to the fact that people who age or become cognitively poor don’t remain the same as they were before the cognitive disorder strikes.

The Scientific Explanation Behind This

In the case of mental ailments that cause cognitive decline, the brain cells are damaged. The frontal lobes of the brain are located just behind the eyes. This is the region of the brain that is responsible for motivation, focus, paying attention, and other personality aspects.

So, when cognitive disorder damages the brain cells in this region, personality is significantly impacted. Moreover, the frontal lobes regulate the impulses. However, when a person suffers from frontal lobe deficit, he is unable to control his impulse. In other words, he can’t control his responses so that rude and harsh responses become common.

Possible Reasons Behind Personality Changes

Although we have already discussed what causes the personality changes, here is a quick break down into all the reasons that can cause the behavioral changes:

  • Confusion due to Alzheimer’s disease

A leading symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is confusion. A person with the ailment is unable to recall information and recognize or remember the names of familiar faces. As a result, confusion increases, which makes a person rude and moody, explaining the behavioral changes.

  • Certain medications

Some medicines can also cause more confusion as their side effect. To prevent that, one must take small doses in the beginning to minimize any adverse effect. Also, take one medicine at a time to learn of its effects.

  • Inability to communicate

The inability to tell which medical issues a person with cognitive disorder is suffering from can also make him rude. Two common examples are urinary tract infection and sleeplessness.

In sum, personality changes due to cognitive disorder are real and affect several people.