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Neurocognitive Disorders: Major Versus Mild

Major neurocognitive disorder and mild neurocognitive disorder are diagnoses in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), that define changes in the overall cognitive and everyday functioning of an individual. As the names of the diagnoses suggest, changes are classified as major or mild depending on the amount of change or difficulty an individual experiences in comparison with how he or she previously functioned. Changes in cognitive functioning, or thinking, can include changes in the ability to pay attention to or concentrate on multiple tasks at the same time, use language to communicate with others, perceive and navigate the world (e.g., knowing how to get home from the grocery store), understand and recognize other people’s experiences (e.g., being ...

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