Cognitive Dysfunction

Cognitive dysfunction is a frequent complication in patients who have been treated for a brain disease or condition. The dysfunction may be related to either the underlying condition or its treatment (including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy), or both. Any of these treatments may cause physical changes to brain tissue and can lead to diffuse cognitive deficits, including problems with attention, memory, executive functioning, and information processing. Some patients report feeling that their ability to take in information seems to have slowed and their vulnerability to distractions has increased. Strategies taught in cognitive remediation may also facilitate positive changes in cognitive functioning and enhance general functioning.

Executive functioning problems include difficulty with executing “everyday actions,” such as carrying out a sequence of actions, planning a task, beginning a task, knowing when one has completed a task, or even becoming “lost” while in the middle of a task.  Executive functioning problems are highly related to difficulty carrying out everyday activities.

For more on how cognitive function can be affected by a neurological condition, and how the different categories of functions are related, see What Do We Mean By Cognitive Dysfunction?

What our Patients Say

Cognitive remediation helps a stroke survivor find her new normalNothing was normal in 2020, but by the summer of that first pandemic year 47-year-old Tania Saiz and her fiancé felt good about traveling from their home in White Plains, New York, to...
Use the same strategies neuropsychologists teach their patients to help yourself through the confusion of the pandemic. In our practice within neurological surgery, we often see patients whose conditions led to a weakness in the cognitive domain...

Our Care Team

  • Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurological Surgery
  • Director of Neuropsychology Services
Phone: 212-746-3356
  • Clinical Neuropsychologist
  • Associate Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurological Surgery
Phone: 212-746-3356

Reviewed by: Amanda Sacks-Zimmerman, PhD
Last reviewed/last updated: October 2023

Weill Cornell Medicine Neurological Surgery 525 East 68 Street, Box 99 New York, NY 10065 Phone: 866-426-7787