The Importance of Cognitive Ability
Cognition includes different cognitive processes, like learning, attention, memory, language, reasoning, decision making, etc., which form part of our intellectual development and experience.
Cognitive ability not only plays a major role in processing the information we acquire, it also has a massive influence on our behavior and our general mental processes. Knowing that we can test and study our cognitive abilities provides a small picture of the future and how we can expect our mental health to be affected by our cognitive ability, especially if there are signs or symptoms of cognitive decline such as memory loss, loss in ability to function, and more.
If you’re experiencing memory loss or other symptoms of cognitive decline, how will you know it’s just a side effect of aging or a sign of something bigger, like dementia or Alzheimer’s? Learn the signs and symptoms you should be worried about.
If you are in need of a psychological assessment in regards to your cognitive ability, please contact us today.
Cognitive Decline in Women Begins as Early as Middle Age
Until recently, research on decline in cognitive ability in middle-aged adults has proved to be inconclusive. A new longitudinal study of women with controlled factors during the study presents information that women experience cognitive aging as early as midlife.
The results from the study showed an average decline in cognitive speed of 4.9 percent and an average drop in verbal episodic memory of 2 percent in 10 years. Although these numbers don’t seem drastic and the researchers were careful to note that “a decline in processing speed in midlife is not a harbinger of declines in other domains of functioning,” research shows that two-thirds of the 5 million Americans over the age of 65 with Alzheimer’s are women. In the same research results, women are nearly twice as likely than men to develop the disease.
If you are experiencing symptoms of cognitive decline, please contact us and find out how psychological testing can help.
Pre-Surgery Testing Can Predict Cognitive Decline After Post-Operative Delirium
Evidence suggests that experiencing post-operative delirium after surgery can lead to long-term cognitive decline in older adults. While not all patients who experience delirium after surgery will experience cognitive decline and new studies show that we can predict cognitive decline after post-operative delirium using pre-surgery information from patients – particularly pre-surgery cognitive function.
The acute state of confusion known as delirium, is actually common and affects up to 50% of hospitalized older adults. Delirium not only leads to cognitive impairment but can potentially lead to institutionalization.
“Predicting who is likely to develop long-term cognitive decline following delirium is highly important clinically and this study reinforces the need for strategies to prevent delirium following surgery in vulnerable older adults.”
Take a closer look at the results of the study and how tests can further predict how a patient’s cognitive ability will be affected if they experience post-operative delirium. If you’d like to learn more about cognitive and psychological testing offered at Wellspring Behavioral Health, please contact us.