Disease It’s the loss of the ability to

Disease condition name: Agnosias

Also Known As:

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Pronounced As: ag-noh-zhuh-s/?h?p ??ta? t?s/

One Line Description: It’s the loss of the ability to process sensory information.

Short description: 

·        
Causes:
Brain
neuronal degeneration due to disease and brain trauma affecting the sensory
pathways.
·        
Symptoms:
Inability to
recognize objects visually or through hearing, inability to name objects,
color blindness
·        
Treatment
Surgery, speech
therapy, use of color cues, and speech
therapy

Highlights:

 

Fact

 

Sample Value example

Comments

How common
it is

Rare.

 

 

Common Stats
(US)

Less than
200,000 people

 

 

Is
Treatable

no known
cure.

 

 

Is
Diagnosis required

diagnosed by
medical professional.

 

Is
Lab test or Imaging required

diagnosis
requires lab test or imaging.

 

Time,
it takes to cure

can be
lifelong
 

 

Is
Vaccine Available

no vaccine
available.

 

Does
it spread & how

not known to
be contagious.

 

Age

common for ages 50 and older.

 

 

Gender

more common
in females.

 

 

Can
it be fatal/deadly (prognosis)

not believed
to be life threatening.

 

 

Is
it hereditary

not known to
be hereditary.

 

Does
it need emergency attention

does not
always require urgent medical attention.

 

 

Other
fact 1-

 

 

 

Other
fact 2-

 

 

 

More details  

Generally, agnosia is
said to be associative or apperceptive. In associative agnosia a patient can
perceive but cannot name or give meaning. However, in apperceptive there is
loss of ability to perceive but the patient can name the object. For instance,
visual agnosia can either be visual apperceptive or visual associative.
Agnosias
can be classified into three major categories
·        
Visual agnosia
There is reduced visual perception of objects,
forgetting familiar faces. It may include inability to differentiate figures
and color, reading and matching objects.
Visual agnosia includes prosopagnosia, object and color
agnosias
·        
Auditory agnosia
It is characterized by inability to recognize and
comprehend sounds and words.
·        
Tactile agnosia
Loss of the ability to recognize objects through sense of
touch. Patient cannot name the object but can perceive the weight or texture.

Symptoms:

Symptoms
depend on the sensory pathway affected

Inability to recognize objects
visually
Inability to distinguish shapes
Color blindness
Inability to recognize voices
Loss of ability to interpret
sounds
Inability to recognize objects
by sense of touch
Loss of orientation and
comprehension of time

Causes:

·        
Neuronal
degeneration due to diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease
·        
Brain
trauma
·        
Dementia

·        
Hypoxia
and carbon monoxide poisoning
·        
Encephalitis

How it doesn’t
spread:

 

N/A

Diagnosis:

Diagnosis is based on ruling out
other disease conditions with similar signs

Brain
imaging e.g. MRI, CT scan to identify lesions or in case of brain injury

Visual field
and visual acuity test to rule out visual field defects
Ishihara
vision tests to rule out color blindness
Doing
copying and matching tests of drawing to differentiate associative and
apperceptive agnosia
Cerebrospinal
fluid examination
Electroencephalogram
to determine the electrical activity of the brain.

Treatments:
There is no cure for agnosia. Treatment is non-specific and is based on managing the
precipitating cause.
I.    
Medication

·        
Antibiotics e.g. penicillin and cephalosporins
to manage abscesses in the brain
II.   Surgery / Medical Procedures
·        
Surgery in case of brain trauma or tumor
·        
Radiation to treat brain tumors
III. Therapies
·        
Speech
therapy especially in associative agnosia where the patient has difficulty
naming objects
·        
Use
of alternate cues to symbolize objects and rooms to help patient in
remembering.

Prevention

Agnosia cannot be prevented however,
some factors such as obesity and smoking increase risk.

Food to eat &
Avoid

Foods to eat
·        
Whole grains,
green vegetables e.g. spinach, broccoli, that are source of vitamins C, D,
and E that improve mental acuity
Foods to avoid
·        
Animal products e.g. red meat and fish consumption
should be limited

Specialist that one
should meet if they have this condition:  

A neurologist

 for diagnosing any neuronal
abnormality or neurological disorders

Ear nose and throat (ENT) specialist
Ophthalmologist that specializes in visual care

Complications: 

Hallucinations that may be severe
Perception disorders

Questions to ask your Doctor

·        
What
causes agnosia?
·        
What
are the types of agnosias?
·        
Is
agnosia curable?
·        
What
are the signs and symptoms?
·        
Is
it hereditary?
·        
Is
it psychological?
·        
Is
it contagious?