Neurocognitive Testing

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NEUROCOGNITIVE TESTING

Neuro: of the brain and nervous system
Cognitive: the ability to think, learn,
concentrate, remember, decide, etc.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT NEUROCOGNITIVE TESTING

What is neurocognitive testing? And why would my doctor want me to take a neurocognitive test?

Neurocognitive testing is a method clinicians use to assess a patient’s memory, mental speed, and other cognitive functions. By reviewing your test results your doctor can assess whether you have cognitive problems. Such problems may have many causes: medical, neurological, psychological. Computerized in‐office neurocognitive testing is a relatively new procedure so it would not be surprising that your doctor has never asked you to take a computerized neurocognitive test.

What do I need to know before I take the test? How long does it take?

The test will take about 8‐45 minutes depending on what tests your doctor chooses for you. When you take the test, you should be in your best possible state of mind; not sleep‐deprived, or overly stressed, for example. The tests will be taken in one sitting, however, there will be breaks between each test allowing you to prepare for the next test phase. Try to relax, pay attention to the directions, and do your best.

How often will I have to take the test?

Every patient over the age of 50 should take a neurocognitive test yearly. When someone is being treated for a cognitive, neurological, or psychiatric condition, testing may be done more frequently to monitor the effects of treatment.

Is it a “bad sign” that I am being asked to take the neurocognitive test?

No. This is a new technology and many clinicians have not had neurocognitive testing available in their offices before. Just as your doctor measures your weight and blood pressure, he or she may
measure your neurocognitive status. It is really no different than your physician requesting you get the same lab tests each year. Many doctors give the test each year or each time they change medications to evaluate and manage your condition over time. Your physician may want you to take the test to either help confirm or “rule out” a diagnosis.

Is this an IQ test?

No, this test is not an IQ test, but a measure of fundamental brain function.

What conditions are neurocognitive tests used for?

Neurocognitive testing is appropriate to use in a variety of medical conditions. Specifically, some
medical conditions that can be evaluated using neurocognitive testing include:

  • Memory Loss
  • Attention Deficit Disorders
  • Depression
  • Medication Adjustment
  • Brain injuries, and Other Conditions

Neurocognitive testing is extremely useful for assessing and managing your neurologic health . Your Doctor will be able to answer questions regarding the use of the test.

 

DOCTORS KNOW…

  • “Neurocognition” refers to the higher brain functions: learning, remembering, concentrating, solving problems, and making decisions.
  • Neurocognitive processes are active in virtually all of our day‐to‐day activities.
  • Neurocognitive testing helps your doctor evaluate the health of the higher functions of the brain.

YOU NEED TO KNOW…

  • Good health has many dimensions, but none more important than the health of your brain.
  • Neurocognition is increasingly recognized as a major factor in
    determining a person’s quality of life.
  • For the first time, computerized assessment of neurocognition is now widely available.
  • This new technology provides your doctor with a window into your brain’s function and activity.
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