Organic mental illnesses involve decreased cognitive function as the result of a medical disorder, a physical disorder or trauma. Cognitive functions means the areas of our intellectual make up that helps us to learn and acquire knowledge, areas like reasoning, memory, our ability to pay attention and our language skills.
An example of a medical disorder which affects these areas is Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia associated with amyloidal plaques in the brain, in which all the abilities associated with cognitive function become increasingly damaged over time. Our independent hospitals support people with Alzheimer’s disease by providing health professionals and trained carers who help people to retain their skills, dignity choice and independence in environments designed for their needs.
An example of a physical disorder is encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, which can lead to a wide variety of symptoms. Viruses are the most common cause of encephalitis but there are many other possible causes, including bacterial infections. Depending on causes and circumstances many forms of encephalitis can be treated and reversed but in some instances damage can be permanent. Barchester’s independent hospitals can identify encephalitis and help with treatment where necessary but more commonly we will help people who have suffered cognitive or sensory losses through encephalitis to retain or regain skills and help them to enjoy the best possible quality of life.
An example of a traumatic mental illness is brain damage from an accident or through alcohol or drug use, which can lead to changed behaviour, sensory losses and many other problems. Barchester’s independent hospitals can help people with traumatic illnesses to retain or regain skills, maximise their independence and enjoy the best possible quality of life.