Neurocognitive testing


There is a rising prevalence of cognitive impairment such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia, including Alzheimer disease.

Comparing random assigned cognitive screening with no screening among 4004 older primary care patients with no indication of cognitive impairment, and those who screened positive on the instruments were referred for a voluntary diagnostic assessment. 

Nonpharmacologic interventions, as physical exercise and cognitive activities, have shown small clinical effects. 

Meta-analysis does not support an advantage suggesting that psychoeducation vs other caregiver or caregiver-patient interventions was associated with better outcomes relative to another.

The harms of interventions in individuals with some degree of cognitive impairment include adverse effects of pharmacologic interventions.

An estimated 10% of cognitive impairment may be due to reversible or partially reversible causes.

Such processes with cognitive impairment that may be somewhat reversible include: depression, medication adverse effects, and metabolic induced disorders.

Screening could lead to earlier identification and resolution of these conditions. 

Neurocognitive screening may be useful for improving care for a variety of medical problems exacerbated by cognitive impairment. 


Neurocognitive testing: a way to measure brain function non invasively. 



These tests called neuropsychological tests, look at how the health of your brain affects your thinking skills and behavior.



Neuropsychological testing include:



Ability to think, understand, learn, and remember (cognition).






Motor function (walking, coordination, etc.)






Problem-solving and decision-making



Verbal ability



Neurocognitive testing helps evaluate: 



Degenerative neurologic diseases



Brain injury



Emotional disorders



Normal brain changes related to aging



Movement disorders



Testing uses paper-and-pencil tests or computerized tests to assess important aspects of cognition: attention, memory, language, reaction time, and perception.



Neurocognitive testing utilizes different tests to specifically crafted to measure particular aspects of brain function. 



These tests can measure  subtle aspects of brain function.



Testing is objective, and the scores give compare a person’s functioning to the rest of the population, or against themselves at a previous time.



The scores are used to measure brain function, and often used for the diagnosis of problems, such as concussion, dementia, or learning disabilities.



Concussion and dementia are  accompanied by subtle changes in attention, perception, and hand-eye skills which can be recognized with simple tests. 



Such testing   can help determine someone’s fitness for returning to work or athletic play, or their capacity for living alone and managing their own finances.



Neurocognitive testing  can allow tracking through time to baseline  cognition in mild cognitive dementia, or to assess recovery in concussion.



Flanker Test requires answering which way arrows are pointing in relation to a question: it reflects quickness and accuracy.



Patients  with impaired brain health cause significantly longer reaction times, when compared to healthy control users, and more incorrect answers. 



Flanker Task also measures executive function, meaning impulse restraining activities.



Trails AB tests visual attention and task switching, by taping on 25 dots in their correct order, as quickly as you can. 



Trails AB test gives information about visual search speed, scanning, speed of processing, mental flexibility, executive functioning. and task switching. 



Stroop effect measures how long it takes one to overcome cognitive interference. 





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