A cognitive-communication impairment is caused by neurological (brain) damage. The most common causes are:
- traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- progressive diseases such as dementia
Cognitive-communication disorders are common after severe TBI, with over 70% of people experiencing some level of communication disability as a result of their injury.
In progressive diseases such as dementia, cognitive-communication changes are subtle in the beginning. For example, some word finding difficulties or going over the same ground in conversation. Changes often take place slowly, and can creep up on you. Suddenly you realise that communication with your loved one with dementia is not the same, and you can look back and recognise situations of communication breakdown that you can later attribute to a dementia diagnosis.
Regardless of the cause, cognitive-communication disorders can have significant effects on employment, friendships, school, and community life. When a person has difficulty explaining or understanding information in a way that is logical, efficient, friendly, and/or helpful, that can be a real barrier to successful work and personal relationships.