Functional cognitive disorder

Catherine Pennington, Elizabeth Coulthard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Abstract / Description of output

It is common to see people in the memory clinic who report persistent cognitive symptoms which cannot be attributed to any neuropathological, systemic or other psychiatric process. This can be diagnosed as Functional Cognitive Disorder (FCD). The definitions and terminology in this area are still evolving, and it is important to distinguish FCD from other non-neurodegenerative causes of cognitive symptomatology, such as primary mental health problems, sleep disorders, health anxiety, drug and alcohol side effects, systemic or neurological disease, or cognitive symptoms due to a wider functional disorder. This article reviews the characteristics of FCD and discusses the differential diagnosis and an approach to distinguishing FCD from early stage neurodegeneration. We discuss potential root causes, strategies for management and areas in need of greater research and understanding. FCD is a common but little understood entity, and one which anyone working in cognitive research or clinical services should be aware of.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Curated Reference Collection in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology
ISBN (Electronic)9780128093245
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Dementia
  • Dementia anxiety
  • Functional amnesia
  • Functional cognitive disorder
  • Functional memory disorder
  • Functional neurological disorder
  • Health anxiety
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Psychogenic amnesia
  • Subjective cognitive decline


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