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Cognitive Functioning Test?
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Cognitive Functioning Test?

Hi Everyone,

My neuro is going to send me for a cognitive functioning test. Has anyone had one of these?
He said it would probably last about 3 hrs.
Any ideas about what I can expect?
I've been having short term memory issues, so he wanted to check it out, and at least get a baseline for me.

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9 Comments Post a Comment
1225331 tn?1333369369
One more thing, how will they know what's "normal" for me? How will they know if I currently have deficits, if they don't know how I was before?
I would think that my deficits could be someone else's "normal," right?
1466984 tn?1310564208
Hi Kelly,
Is that the same thing as a neuropsych test? I wonder if it may be part of a total neuropsych evaluation.  The full evaluation takes hours from what I understand.

My doc is thinking of having me take neuropsych test,  but  I understand insurance companies don't like to pay for it.  
They may do a "mini" one on me first and depending on outcome, then ask for the full eval.

BTW - They are "norm" referenced - so they look to see where your scores fall within the norm. Kind of like an IQ test.  Think of the "bell curve".  If 100 is "the norm" you may fall below, or above the norm.   So they are comparing you to others, not yourself.  I would think that once they have your scores, they could use those to see how you progress over time.

Sorry I couldn't be more help.  Maybe someone will chime in who knows more.

Good luck,

1456824 tn?1288654814
I have had several cognitive tests. All were done at my neuro psychologist. The tests I took were done on a computer and lasted about an hour.

I found the tests to cause brain fatigue. I was so exhaused I actually had to rest for a period of time before I could drive home.

My results were compared to a standard and it seemed to be right on.

My insurance did not pay for the test so it was a little costly.

Good luck and get some good rest before you have it done.

1116556 tn?1345119506
Hey Kelly -

I'm glad to have found this post!  I just posted a min or 2 ago about memory and cognitive problems myself.  My name is also Kelly :)

I wanted to ask, what is the goal of the cognitive test?  I mean... what will this do for you and your Dr.?  Meaning.... is this going to help determine a specific treatment plan or disability?  I'm just wondering out of personal frustration.  Test after test after test.... lets say I take this test, hypothetically.  Let's also say it tells my Dr. that my cognitive skills are well below average.  Gee, thanks, that's what I've been trying to tell you that I've been experiencing and why I'm here.  So......... what now?

Just curious if there is a point to the testing before I go telling my neuro about my memory issues.

634733 tn?1316629592
I have just finished these tests and I am waiting for the results as I write. I live in the UK and my team decided to do the tests in short 40 - 45 minute bursts because they are so exhausting!

Mine have taken about 8 weeks doing 1 or 2 tests once  week for that length of time. My neuropsych feels that mine will show fairly normal results as my levels were so high to start with (huh!). I have a PhD and a very high level to start with.

So they are expecting mine to show a fairly 'normal' result but are measuring to find a baseline for me to measure progress. I have felt that most of my issues were memory and confusion but the psych feels that most of my problems are attention which is a common problem in MS and can affect memory and executive functioning (organisation skills, etc).

The point for me is to measure any progression and to get help with some coping stratgeies.

BTW I have just finished reading Coping with the Cognitive Challenges of Multiple Sclerosis by Jeffrey Gingold and would recommend it - he made me feel that I could cope with this and wasn't going crazy. So I have just started his second book called Mental Sharpening Stones.  

Let us know how you get on, we can compare note :)

Pat x
1088527 tn?1425316975
Hi I have had these tests done the last 3 yrs and am due for this yrs now my insurance does pay for it but it must be a full year and a day so I am due this month. anyways my baseline was done  I showed some decline in the executive part of the memory and last yrs test showed more decline than the previous. I have problems with recall, learning new tasks, making choices. my neuro-physc doc is great he talks to me before and after the testing and goes over the results them when he makes his 3-4 page reports he sends a copy to me its interesting to read actually. he stated that these deficits are common in people with a demyilating disease and hence I am still undiagnosed and the memory problems are getting worse. let us know how you do but be prepared it can be mentally tiring

635835 tn?1272542983
I had them done in the spring.  I was there for an entire day and had a 30 minutes break for lunch. I had a mixture of many different types of tests so some I answered verbally, some I wrote, and some on the computer.

They were exhausting for sure. They compare you to other people with your age, background, and education. As it was explained to me - If you are very smart and educated and would normally test in the 90th percentile of all people - if some things show in the average range (50th percentile) That is still ABNORMAL for you - so it doesn't matter if you test in normal range, only if you are performing below your normed peer group.

In regards to what it did for me and my Dr. and treatment plan. I am undiagnosed, and both the neuro, the psych, and I were shocked at my fairly severe cognitive changes in areas that are commonly seen in patients with MS. For all 8 hours of testing I test right in the middle of my peer group (so normed for doctoral education and age) except for visual processing and a few other things where I dropped to like 16th percentile.  Basically, if I had always been 16th percentile with visual processing and the other things that I tested poorly on, I would not have been able to easily obtain the education I have or play sports at the level I did.

This totally changed how my neuro treated me. I'm still not on DMDs because she uses MRIs to follow the success of that treatment. But now she says she knows I have a relapsing remitting, central nervous system, demyelinating disease that we just can't see on film yet.

I was really glad I had it. It also helped for my mom to understand that I'm not just tired or not paying attention, that something is really wrong that I can't change.

I'm really glad that I had it done.
294425 tn?1288531995
Hi Kelly,

I had the cognitive testing done in the spring of 2009.  I'm pretty sure it's the same thing as neuropsych testing.  My neuro had ordered it because we knew I was having cognitive issues and it was looking more and more like I would be forced to go on disability, and he said the more documentation of things I had, the better.  I was very fortunate, in that my insurance paid for it all.  

FIrst I met with the neuro-psychiatrist, who was wonderful.  She did an evaluation, then the testing began.  They did it over the course of 3 different days, once a week.  Like everyone else has said, it was very tiring.  I was shot for the rest of the day each time I had to go in.  For me, some tests were verbal and some were written, but I didn't do anything on a computer.  There were also some visual tests, and one that was kind of like tanagrams, in that you had to use different shaped pieces to try and make the shape on the card.  I had a good bit of trouble with that one, lol.

I had never had this kind of testing before, so there was nothing to compare it to for me, but like everyone said, they are basically comparing you to the population at large.  Some things I tested normal on, but the doc was pretty sure I would have tested higher previously, based on the type of job I had and what was required.  Then there were areas I was definitely below normal, like concentration, comprehension, short term memory, being able to follow step by step instructions, etc.  I found it sobering and kind of depressing to see it all in writing, but none of it was a surprise.

A week or so after the testing was done, I went back to the neuro-psychiatrist, and she went over all the results with me, which was really helpful.  She had written up a 4 page report, giving all the results and then showing how they would impact me in a work environment.  The bottom line was that she did not feel there was any sort of job I would be suitable for because of the various cognitive deficits I have.  

That broke my heart, because I have worked all my life and loved my job - but like I said, it wasn't really a surprise.  I had been noticing more and more problems at work for a while prior to my testing.  I was taken off work for physical reasons, but this was also documentation of the cognitive problems I was having, and I think it was helpful to have when I applied for SS disability.

Best of luck with your testing.  It's not always pleasant to see things in writing, but it is good documentation to have - and now there will be a baseline to compare if you get the testing again in the future, which is nice also.


1225331 tn?1333369369
Thank you everyone for being so generous with your answers.

As far as I know, my neuro just wants to get a baseline and have documentation to look back on, to see if there are any changes in the future.

I do notice I have a shorter attention span and short term memory changes. I'll forget where I left my keys, drink, cell phone, etc - and I won't even remember that I even had them with me in the first place.

I also feel overwhelmed trying to organize things at work. And I can't even remember the simple steps of getting my Copaxone ready to inject.  I've always been right on top of things. I graduated with highest honors, summa cvm laude with my Bachelor's, and I went to graduate school for Applied Science in Geography/Environmental Systems/Geographic Information Systems.
I hope my insurance will cover the test.

BTW mayperl (Kelly), I have lots of family in Huntsville.

Thanks everyone,
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