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Adult Social Care Glossary, v 0.41

Executive dysfunction

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NICE Guideline NG108 - Decision-making and mental capacity

The completion of tasks that involve several steps or decisions normally involves the operation of mental processes known as 'executive functions'. If these executive functions do not develop normally, or are damaged by brain injury or illness, this can cause something called 'executive dysfunction'. This involves a range of difficulties in everyday planning and decision-making, which can be sometimes hard to detect using standard clinical tests and assessments.

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