Major Neurocognitive Disorder

Evidence of significant cognitive decline from a previous level of performance in one or more cognitive domains (complex attention, executive function, learning and memory, language, perceptual-motor, or social cognition) based on:

  1. Concern of the individual, a knowledgeable informant, or the clinician that there has been a significant decline in cognitive function; and
  2. A substantial impairment in cognitive performance, preferably documented by standardized neuropsychological testing or, in its absence, another quantified clinical assessment.

The cognitive deficits interfere with independence in everyday activities (i.e., at a minimum, requiring assistance with complex instrumental activities of daily living such as paying bills or managing medications).

The cognitive deficits do not occur exclusively in the context of a delirium.

The cognitive deficits are not better explained by another mental disorder (e.g., major depressive disorder, schizophrenia).

Etiology Specifier

Severity Specifier

  • Mild: Difficulties with instrumental activities of daily living (e.g. - housework, managing money)
  • Moderate: Difficulties with basic activities of daily living (e.g. - feeding, dressing)
  • Severe: Fully dependent

Behaviour Specifier


  • Without behavioral disturbance: If the cognitive disturbance is not accompanied by any clinically significant behavioral disturbance.
  • With behavioural disturbance (specify disturbance): If the cognitive disturbance is accompanied by a clinically significant behavioural disturbance (e.g., psychotic symptoms, mood disturbance, agitation, apathy, or other behavioural symptoms).
For Clinicians