Bradyphrenia is the slowness of thought and a common manifestation of many disorders of the brain. It can also be the side effect of several types of psychiatric medication. Bradyphrenia can be appreciated in disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and some forms of schizophrenia. It is also called a psychic akinesia.
Those affected often display inattentiveness and delayed response, leading to decreased productivity when a task is given. These patients often only respond with one-word answers, not giving a complete reply. Complaints of difficulty thinking and in expressing thoughts is a common occurrence. Much of their time is spent searching for words to describe their feelings when communicating with others.
Bradyphrenia is commonly associated with Parkinson’s disease, but this is very much still up for debate. Not all Parkinson’s disease patients suffer from problems with cognitive function. However, about half of people with Parkinson’s do experience some problems with cognitive impairment.
Brain damage and side-effects of psychiatric medication are the most common reasons for the development of bradyphrenia. Old age may also be a risk factor.
Symptoms of bradyphrenia include:
Bradyphrenia is mostly a clinical diagnosis and is typically a symptom of a disorder or treatment regimen. This means that there is no single test to diagnose the condition, but instead, it is up to the attending physician to recognize the symptoms and make the diagnosis. To help doctors make a more definitive diagnosis, they may use multiple tests. These include:
Since bradyphrenia is commonly a symptom of another neurotological condition, a treatment specifically targeting a slowed thinking process can be difficult. Bradyphrenia does frequently respond to anti-Parkinson’s medications, however, due to some of them being anticholinergic in nature, it may cause or exacerbate cognitive impairment.
The reality of the situation is that most of the time, coping with bradyphrenia is the most logical option for preceding treatment. This means that instead of finding a cure, a modification of lifestyle will occur. Bradyphrenia patients often use the flowing lifestyle changes to help improve their day to day lives.
Living with bradyphrenia can be quite frustrating. However, knowing that your physician has your best interest in mind should give you some comfort. It may take some getting used to, but with the understanding and support of the people around you, living with bradyphrenia can be manageable.