Memory Problems: Cognistat Test for Dementia

Learn about the Cognistat Test, a comprehensive screening tool for detecting memory problems and cognitive impairment in loved ones. This test assesses emotion, behavior, and learning ability in individuals and can take up to 20-30 minutes to complete.

Memory Problems: Cognistat Test for Dementia

Memory Problems Are Probably The First Noticeable Dementia Signs

Memory problems are probably the first noticeable dementia signs family members or others will notice. Of course, we all have a tendency to blame the causes of memory loss on getting older.

The Cognistat test is a screening for dementia. The name is an acronym for Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination. Simply put, this test is assessing the way brain affects the emotions, behaviors, and learning abilities of the individual.

The Cognistat screening tool can take up to 20 to 30 minutes to properly conduct it, especially if the individual does have dementia.

  • Attention
  • Calculation
  • Construction
  • Language ability (comprehension or understanding)
  • Language ability (expression)
  • Orientation
  • Memory
  • Abstract reasoning
  • Judgment
  • Level of consciousness

The test assesses present time as well as long-term abilities and traits.
Memory and judgment are the two important areas that are assessed.

How is the test conducted?

First, the person is given four unrelated words such as (apple, table, pencil, penny) until they can repeat all four words back to you – twice.

Then the person is asked three questions:

  • What would you do if it was it was bright and sunny outside, but you could hear running water coming from upstairs and the ceiling was leaking?
  • What would you do if you were cooking something on the stove, and the phone rings? You walk away to answer it and later you see smoke and flames coming from the kitchen.
  • What would you do if the door bell rings and the person at the door say that they noticed that your roof needs fixed or that the house needs some repairs? They are in the area and can start today.
  • Next, they are asked to repeat those four words given to them at the beginning of the session. They are given the opportunity to repeat the words first.
  • Then clues are given for the ones they cannot remember.
  • Then multiple choice type questions for the ones they simply do not recall at all.

The scoring for this test can range from 0 to 12 for the first 2 parts of the test, depending how much assistance was needed.

  • 0 – not answered correctly
  • 1 – answered with multiple choice question
  • 2 – answered with cueing
  • 3 – answered with free recall

The three judgment questions are scored at

  • 2 points for each correct answer
  • 1 point for a partially correct answer
  • 0 points for an incorrect answer

Cognistat is a comprehensive test, considered to be more reliable at identifying the presence of cognitive impairment compared to the clock drawing, mini mental state exam, and animal naming.

More complete information can be found in the official product website

Next we will learn about the Mini Mental Exam.

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