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Revista Clínica de Medicina de Familia

On-line version ISSN 2386-8201Print version ISSN 1699-695X


VAYAS ABASCAL, Rocío  and  CARRERA ROMERO, Luis. Executive dysfunction: Symptoms and importance in its detection from Primary Health Care. Rev Clin Med Fam [online]. 2012, vol.5, n.3, pp.191-197. ISSN 2386-8201.

Executive dysfunction consists of the ability for abstract thought and to plan, start, sequence, monitor and stop complex behaviour. Making the mistake of denying the existence of cognitive deterioration when we do not find a memory deficit is relatively common. However, patients with deterioration in executive dysfunction do not necessarily exhibit deterioration in memory or other cognitive areas. In spite of this, executive dysfunction in itself has an impact on willpower, judgement and planning, becoming a more reliable predictor of loss of autonomy than memory deterioration. It can affect such significant aspects as functional ability, following medical prescriptions, or the ability to give informed consent. For these reasons, it is important for us to be alert in our daily activity for symptoms of suspected executive dysfunction and when we assess a patient exhibiting possible cognitive deterioration, to include appropriate neuropsychological tests to evaluate this function.

Keywords : Mild cognitive impairment; Executive dysfunction; Neuropsychological tests.

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