WHAT IS NEUROCOGNITIVE TESTING?
Neurocognitive testing is a non-invasive method of measuring brain function. It uses various tests – usually the traditional paper-and-pencil type – to evaluate the most vital aspects of cognitive thought, such as:
Neurocognitive testing is not as simple as questioning patients on how they are doing or feeling. Rather, it involves a series of basic tasks, assigned to directly gauge their mental functionality. Each individual test is specially designed to gauge select aspects of a patient’s brain functionality. By evaluating specific aspects of brain functionality, clinicians and researchers have gained an extremely effective tool for further discovering what goes on “beneath the dome.”
In this sense, neurocognitive testing provides us with a systematic approach to painting a more complete picture of brain health. Every test is objective. Additionally, the scores offer medical professionals the opportunity to compare and contrast a patient’s functioning. This can be equated against that of the general population, or themselves in a previous test.
THE ADVANTAGES OF NEUROCOGNITIVE TESTING
Neurocognitive testing offers multiple advantages when compared to more invasive testing. For instance, this type of test can be completed in a relatively short time frame. In addition, neurocognitive testing is so hassle-free that it can be performed entirely at a desk. Conversely, brain scans are exceptionally expensive, and surgeries involve major risks.
The collective test results can be used to properly calculate brain function. Furthermore, hospitals and medical clinics regularly use a patient’s test scores to supply the diagnosis of their cognitive problems, such as:
DETECTING PROBLEMS EARLY ON
Neurocognitive testing provides a means to detect cognitive deficiencies during their earliest stages. Concussion and dementia often go undetected during early onset. However, for patients unfortunate enough to contract these neurocognitive conditions, this can be prevented. Slight alterations in attention span, hand-eye coordination, and perception develop alongside the initial stages of concussion and dementia. To reveal these subtle changes, the only requirement is a basic test. This single test can also determine a patient’s cognitive health for continuing their career or workout routine. It can even establish their capability to live alone and pay their own bills.
By using neurocognitive testing, the patterns that enable discovery can be accurately extracted. In addition, tracking through time is also permitted. For patients with mild cognitive dementia, this can prove useful in keeping a proper baseline of your cognition. Tracking through time could also help with evaluating recovery in concussion cases.
With the know-how and resources to constantly monitor a patient’s cognitive abilities throughout their life, we are improving our overall knowledge of brain health. Neurocognitive testing has presented us with the ability to detect problems early on.