The Older Brain on Drugs: Substances That May Cause Cognitive Impairment

Jenny Rogers, MD; Bonnie S. Wiese, MD; Kiran Rabheru, MD, CCFP, FRCP


Geriatrics and Aging. 2008;11(5):284-289. 

In This Article


There are a range of substances that can contribute to the development of cognitive impairment, some of which may mimic a more serious cognitive disorder and others that might progress to a full-blown dementia, while the majority of cases may likely fall somewhere in between. Together this behooves the clinician to undertake a thorough assessment, keep an open mind, and remember to ask the questions. Prognostically, a substance-induced dementia may also have a better outcome compared to other types of dementia, as once the instigating factor is gone, the cognition often improves.


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