How Doctors Detect Cognitive Impairment

Your doctor will only detect cognitive impairment by performing a comprehensive cognitive assessment to reveal structural and functional complications. Doctors perform cognitive testing Atlanta to determine any issues limiting thought processes and judgment. You may get an accurate diagnosis upon completing a Mental Status Exam. However, your doctor will recommend a specific cognitive test to guarantee a more detailed analysis upon suspecting impairment.  

The most common cognitive impairments affecting patients include dementia and traumatic brain injuries. The cognitive test your doctor recommends will evaluate your neuropsychological domains to appreciate your decision-making and intellectual capacity.

The need for patient-centeredness during cognitive assessments?

Cognitive testing requires a patient-centered approach. Depending on the suspected brain concern, your doctor will recommend the best cognitive test for your case. Your doctor will design your cognitive test to evaluate a specific neuropsychological domain and thus explain your symptoms. You may need to undergo a comprehensive neuropsychological exam, which will provide extensive results explaining your cognitive impairment.

What are the common cognitive screening tools?

The following are the most common cognitive testing tools that doctors recommend to analyze various neuropsychological domains:

  • Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA): This popular screening tool only takes a few minutes to complete. The main advantage of the MoCA is its ability to evaluate multiple neuropsychological domains. For example, this test can provide information about your focus, alertness, language, abstract reasoning, delayed recall, executive function, and orientation. 
  • Mini-Cog: This faster cognitive assessment screen consists of two parts testing memory and cognitive functioning.
  • Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE)
  • Saint Louis University Mental Status Exam (SLUMS) 

The significance of patient-centeredness in cognitive testing

Mental status screens are short but efficient. Your doctor will recommend an evidence-based diagnostic approach to evaluate multiple cognitive domains. A cognitive assessment may need to be revised to confirm your diagnosis. Reviewing your updated medical and family history, physical exam, and necessary labs and imaging will guarantee a more detailed diagnosis or help your doctor determine the need for additional evaluation.

Doctors usually recommend patients undergo a complete neuropsychological evaluation if a cognitive screening test is inconclusive. A thorough neuropsychological evaluation can recognize a patient’s deficits, differentiate between neurological and psychological etiologies, localize the cognitive issues, and help your doctor develop an individualized management plan.

It is important to receive a thorough neuropsychological exam from a trained professional to guarantee accuracy and efficiency. Your doctor will recommend this detailed assessment following a diagnosis or suspicion of cognitive impairment.

Each cognitive impairment concern is a unique circumstance. Your healthcare team will develop an appropriate approach to identify and address your impairment. Cognitive testing is necessary for determining your level of understanding and ability. However, you may need constant monitoring to address any underlying issues causing chronic complications. A patient-centered approach will guarantee effective clinical outcomes. Collaborate with a trusted healthcare provider like Psychiatric Consultants of Atlanta to receive an accurate cognitive assessment that may explain your symptoms and help you get the treatment and management you need to restore optimal cognitive functioning.

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