Your brain is the most complex and important piece of your anatomy. This unique organ runs the show and has many responsibilities, from controlling balance and coordination to housing our memories, emotions, and ability to speak. Should you notice minor changes in your cognition or difficulty performing certain functions, your primary care physician may recommend neurocognitive testing to pinpoint the problem. If you’re learning about this option for the first time, here’s what you need to know about neurocognitive testing.
What Is a Neurocognitive Test?
A neurocognitive test is a noninvasive way for a neurology professional to monitor your overall brain health. This is a computerized test that assesses a patient’s cognitive fitness. This includes testing the memory, executive function, attention, visual spatial skills, verbal function, problem-solving, and working memory. The patient is monitored by a Registered Neurodiagnostic Technologist who administers the test, after receiving a referral from the neurologist. The test results are read by the neurologist, measuring brain function, which helps to diagnose a range of issues; from dementia, to learning disabilities, and concussions. Health care professionals often recommend these tests for children who are struggling in school, patients who have recently sustained brain injuries, and senior citizens showing signs of memory loss.
When & Why Should You Visit a Neurology Clinic for This Test?
If you or a loved one is experiencing memory loss, added difficulty communicating, or changes in cognitive awareness, it’s best to talk to your primary care doctor or therapist first. They may recommend visiting a trusted neurology clinic, resulting in a referral to a neurology clinic. Once a neurological consult has taken place, the neurologist will then order computerized neurocognitive testing. This allows for test results to be properly interpreted, to aid with a better diagnosis.
Special thanks to Renee Kenmonth, REEGT at FPNC, for her contribution to this article.