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APA Using NCD Not Dementia

By Thegenaboveme @TheGenAboveMe

APA Using NCD not Dementia

Photo by Keoni Cabral.

If the Sapir-Whorft theory is to be believed, the language we use shapes our reality.
For this reason, the American Psychological Association (APA) scrutinized the origins of "dementia"-- which is tied to "madness" -- and introduced a new term.
Neurocognitive Disorders
"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 mind 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, cognitive problems due traumatic brain injury (TBI) and cognitive problems due to advanced HIV are a type of neurocognitive disorder.
I first encountered the term 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.  

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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