In This Special Report:
Any person who once “drew a blank” during an exam is familiar with the horrors of cognitive difficulties: that terrible moment is for most of us so rare that it remains a traumatic memory for years to come. Imagine those who suffer from protracted cognitive difficulties. For them it is a daily struggle that renders even the most routine task a major hurdle. Cognitive ability is required for a person to function in everyday situations and to be able to perform daily tasks of living. As Dr Medalia says about schizophrenia, “research indicates cognitive impairment is a major reason why functional outcome is so poor.”
And yet, other than memory and attention, modern psychiatry is often practiced with little regard for the myriad of cognitive symptoms that plague our patients daily. Perhaps one of the reasons is that these symptoms tend to be subtle. They often do not amount to the tragic proportions of Alzheimer dementia, and many patients, without special attention from clinicians, can go almost unnoticed.
In dedicating the Special Report to cognitive difficulties, Psychiatric Times has provided a much-needed platform for contemporary understanding of these prevalent and debilitating conditions.
While the available body of information can occupy volumes, editorial considerations had to narrow the scope to, most importantly, cognitive dysfunction and remediation in schizophrenia, as well as cognitive difficulties in depression and attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder. Some of the finest specialists in the field graciously accepted the invitation to contribute to the Special Report. Each one of them managed to encompass an entire universe of data succinctly without omitting the most salient points of their respective topics. I am certain that readers of these important and carefully presented topics will be eager to incorporate this knowledge into their everyday practice. This is ultimately our reward.