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Cognitive Testing

Cognitive Testing

If you’re worried about your memory or have a neurological disorder known to affect brain function, it’s time to talk with the team at Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders (DCND) and learn if you should have cognitive testing. They use cognitive testing to evaluate your thinking skills, determine the severity of your memory or brain processing problem, and create a customized treatment plan. If you need cognitive testing, the first step is receiving a referral from your primary care physician. Then the DCND team will reach out to you to schedule an appointment. 

Cognitive Testing Q & A

What is cognitive testing?

Cognitive testing provides information about your brain’s functioning. Your assessment may measure one or more of the following areas, depending on which test you take:

  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Concentration
  • Reasoning
  • Problem-solving
  • Language
  • Brain processing speed

The Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders team uses standardized tests. Standardized tests show how your individual results compare to a large group of your peers.

When would I need cognitive testing?

Your provider may perform cognitive testing if you have symptoms or behaviors suggesting a problem with your brain (cognitive) processes.

Symptoms that frequently indicate you need cognitive testing include:

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Forgetting appointments
  • Not remembering words
  • Frequently losing things
  • Anger and irritability
  • Struggling to express thoughts

Memory loss is one of the most frequent reasons the team does cognitive testing. 

What neurological conditions may need cognitive testing?

Memory loss and other brain changes could be caused by many possible neurological conditions, including:

  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Concussion
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease

You could also have natural, age-related brain changes that affect your memory but aren’t diagnosed as dementia.

What type of cognitive testing might I need?

The team has extensive experience performing different cognitive tests, including:


The Mini-Cog is often the first test performed because it’s short and quickly reveals signs of memory loss. You may be familiar with one part of the Mini-Cog, which involves your provider stating three words and asking you to repeat them a short time later. The Mini-Cog also includes a few other simple tests, such as asking about today’s date or current events.

Digital cognitive assessment

There are several digital assessments that test all the cognitive processes listed above (memory, attention, concentration, etc.). Your test may also evaluate executive function, a process supporting your ability to plan, stay focused, and follow directions. 

Though this assessment can be written, the team typically uses digital testing, which produces immediate results. You can also take the same digital test in the future, and your provider can quickly identify changes in your cognitive ability by comparing it to your previous test.

Call Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders after receiving a referral from your doctor to schedule cognitive testing.