Memory Tests & Screenings

Memory Tests & Screenings Overview

Memory tests and screenings are also known as neurocognition screenings. Neurocognition refers to the higher brain functions: learning, remembering, concentrating, solving problems and making decisions. Neurocognitive processes are active in virtually all of our day-to-day activities. Neurocognitive screenings help your doctor evaluate the health of the higher functions of the brain.

What is neurocognitive testing?

Neurocognitive testing is a method clinicians use to assess a patient’s memory, executive function, mental speed and other cognitive functions.  By reviewing your test results, your doctor can assess whether you have cognitive problems and if the cause of those problems is medical, neurological or psychological.

What should I expect during testing?

The test will take one to two hours depending on what tests are administered. When you take the test, you should be in your best possible state of mind; not sleep-deprived or overly stressed, for example. The tests will be taken in one sitting; however, there will be breaks between each test allowing you to prepare for the next test if needed. Try to relax, pay attention to the directions and do your best.

How often should I be tested?

When someone is being treated for a cognitive or neurological condition, testing may be done every 6 months to a year to monitor the effects of treatment.

Should I be concerned I’m being asked to get tested?

No. Just as your doctor measures your weight and blood pressure, he or she may measure your neurocognitive status. It is really no different than your physician requesting you get the same lab tests each year. Many doctors give the test each year or each time they change medications to evaluate and manage your condition over time. Your physician may want you to take the test to either help confirm or “rule out” a diagnosis.

Is this the same as an IQ test?

No, this test is not an IQ test, but a measure of fundamental brain function.

Neurocognitive testing is useful for assessing and managing your neurologic health.  Test results will not be given at this appointment.  Patients will receive results at next appointment with the provider that referred you for testing.

Take The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam

The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) is designed to detect early signs of cognitive, memory or thinking impairments. It evaluates your thinking abilities and helps physicians to know how well your brain is working.

You may want to take the SAGE test if you are concerned that you might have cognitive issues, or you may wish to have your family or friends take the test if they are having memory or thinking problems.

You do not need special equipment to take the SAGE test-just pen and paper. Don’t look at the clock or calendar while taking the test, and if you have any questions about an item, just do the best you can. The average time to complete this four-page test is 10-15 minutes, but there is no time limit. After you complete the test, take it to your neurologist or your primary care physician.

Remember that the SAGE does not diagnose any specific condition, but the results can help your doctor know if further evaluation is necessary.

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Hattiesburg, MS
Memory Center
Hattiesburg Clinic - Main
415 S. 28th Ave.
6th Floor
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
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