Columbia University Medical Center
Ranked #1 in Psychiatry
U.S. News & World Report
Ranked #1 in Research Funding
National Institutes of Health
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell

Ask the Experts


What is cognitive dysfunction and what are the symptoms? What is the right treatment, if any?

Answered by: Alice Medalia

Mental illness affects many people, but what most do not realize is that it does not just cause emotional problems – it causes cognitive problems, too. People with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, anorexia nervosa, obsessive compulsive disorder, Asperger’s disorder, and other psychiatric disorders may find it difficult to process information quickly, pay attention, think flexibly and problem solve, and remember.

For some, the cognitive problems are only evident during the episodes of illness. For others, the cognitive problems are more persistent. If psychiatric illness is managed well, the person can lead a more productive life and have longer periods of stability. Cognitive remediation is a behavioral treatment which provides people with exercises to improve their cognitive skills, and strategies to manage their cognitive problems.

For more information about cognitive dysfunction go to: and for information about cognitive remediation go to: