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CENTRE FOR ADVANCED ASSESSMENT

Cognitive Screening Assessment

Cognitive Screening Assessment

If you have noticed a decline in cognitive functions, or are concerned about the potential effects of a concussion that you, your patient, client, or loved one has recently suffered, the CORTEX Centre can help. We can conduct a brief and low-cost cognitive screening, as an alternative to full neuropsychological assessment, to provide preliminary answers and suggestions.

These screening assessments address concerns relating to cognitive abilities, including attention, concentration, memory, and processing speed, in various medical conditions, with a specific focus on those following a brain injury (particularly a concussion) as well as early signs of brain aging or decline.

Early detection of cognitive difficulties opens the way to treatment, rehabilitation, remediation, adaptation, and potential recovery. It also allows for monitoring over time and helps with decisions to return to sports, school and work.

Concussion

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is an injury to the brain that often (but not always) results in temporary loss of normal brain function.

Common symptoms include: headaches, dizziness, nausea, balance problems, sensitivity to light and noise, irritability, ringing in the ears, sleep disruption, fatigue, confusion, mental fog, problems with attention and concentration, short term memory concerns, and slowed information processing, as well as difficulty performing executive functions involving mental flexibility, problem solving, planning, and organization.

Although symptoms of most concussions rapidly subside within days or weeks, the experience of these symptoms is often uncomfortable and distressing and can lead to secondary problems such as anxiety and depression. In a minority of cases, especially those involving multiple concussions or other vulnerabilities, concussive symptoms may persist, contributing to feelings of frustration and concern, as well as difficulties in daily life, school, work, and sports.

Learning Disabilities and ADHD

What is a Learning Disability?

A Learning Disability may be present when a student, child, or adult, struggles at school with reading, writing, mathematics, or other academic domains, despite adequate effort and academic programming.

Academic skill screening provided by the CORTEX Centre helps identify strengths and weaknesses in all key academic domains. A learning disability may coexist with above average intelligence and giftedness. Identification of academic performance that is below expectations for age and education level can lead to a diagnosis of learning ability/difficulty, effective remediation, and improved school performance and future personal and career outcomes.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder involves a short attention span, restlessness, impulsivity, and associated learning difficulties, despite usually average or above average intelligence, giftedness, and ability to focus on tasks of high interest to a person.

Some individuals have clear symptoms of hyperactivity that can be observed by families, schools, or employers. However, others may be restless and inattentive but not visibly hyperactive, which can result in their problems being overlooked. Diagnosis and assessment of adult ADHD can be particularly challenging. Screening for attention and other problems involved in the diagnosis of ADHD can open the door to a full diagnosis, remediation, and improved management of the condition, as well as improved future personal, educational, and career outcomes.

Other Brain Conditions

Individuals who suffer from chronic pain, depression, anxiety, or fatigue often have cognitive difficulties wherein they experience problems with attention, memory, and information processing speed. They may feel less sharp, with a need to put more effort into thinking and problem solving. Additionally, they may worry about what is happening in their brain and how that is affecting their work or education.

The CORTEX Centre’s cognitive screening can provide pertinent information and guidance which may reassure, assist with diagnosis, and provide practical suggestions for improving everyday lives.

Mild Cognitive Impairment and Early Stages of Dementia

What is Mild Cognitive Impairment?

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a state between normal aging and dementia.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a brain condition that affects memory, thinking, and social abilities that is severe enough to interfere with daily functioning.

Brain changes implicated in the development of dementia begin decades before symptoms manifest, and family members are often in the best position to observe unexpected cognitive changes in their loved ones. However, not all signs of memory, concentration, or thinking difficulties among adults indicate dementia, and changes in lifestyle have shown to have significant preventative effects.

Early detection of potential dementia is important for prevention, treatment, adaptation, and to help make decisions about work and independent living. Obtaining neuropsychological data at the earliest stages provides an opportunity to start treatment as soon as possible and monitor changes.

The dementia screening provided by the CORTEX Centre helps individuals with dementia, as well as families and healthcare providers, to understand the extent of the problem and initiate appropriate action.