Cognitive Function Tests for Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

By | June 28, 2011

We thought it would be useful to provide an overview of the range of cognitive function tests available to screen for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia. All of the tests mentioned in this article are backed up by published research studies that validate test use as a screening tool for MCI and early AD (marketing claims by test publishers that don’t have a solid research validation foundation should be discounted.)

Paper Cognitive Function Tests: a good “first pass” option, especially for use at home. Two free tests are the MoCA Test – The Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test, and the Short Blessed Test – SBT, also referred to as Blessed Orientation Memory Concentration (BOMC). Both of these free paper tests can be downloaded here.

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Online Memory Screening Tests: check your working memory and cognitive processing speed with a selection of online tests, including free versions of the digit span test and spatial memory test.

Computerized Cognitive Function Tests: several packaged cognitive function tests administered by computer are now commercially available as validated health care screening tools. With recent initiatives to implement widespread cognitive health screening, such as the new Medicare Annual Wellness Visit, computerized cognitive testing shows some promise for reliable, standardized cognitive screening in the doctor’s office. A list of computerized cognitive testing tools can be downloaded here.