What Memory Test Results Can Tell You

Memory tests are typically considered to be amusing games that help pass the time. However, there are scientific-based memory tests that comprehensively screen for cogitative or psychological problems.

The Benefits of Memory Tests
Doctors and psychologists are now promoting memory wellness screenings as a way to raise awareness and detect potential cognitive disorders. For example, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is promoting cognitive health through its highly publicized memory screening initiative and public outreach program. Both of these emphasize the importance of memory screening for health and wellness. Catching cognitive problems during the early stages will greatly improve the person’s quality of life. For example, it may increase safety, functioning and effectiveness of treatment strategies. Memory tests shouldn’t be avoided, but rather embraced as a way to prove normal memory functioning. Therefore, one of the best ways to distinguish between a normal brain and one indicating early signs of intellectual impairment is through cognitive health screening tests.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s
While there is no one single test that proves a person has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, there are basic memory tests that aid in the diagnostic process. As expected, health care professionals must review medical history and perform physical and neurological exams. Some doctors even are using genetic testing to screen for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are mental status tests that systematically evaluate the patient’s memory, cognitive functioning and problem solving skills. For example, during a mini-cognitive exam, the patient is asked to complete certain tasks, such as memorizing and repeating the names of common objects or a list of simple numbers specified by the health care professional. There are additional tools, such as the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE), the General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG) and the Short Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE).

According to Scientific America, IQ tests are actually an excellent way to benchmark working short and long term memory. IQ tests are designed to comprehensively assess the person’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses. It is well known that academic knowledge is intricately linked to functioning memory. In fact, memory plays a key role in measuring abstract reasoning, experiential knowledge and cognitive functioning. However, IQ tests by themselves cannot properly measure memory by itself. Therefore, there are specific working memory tests that measure pure cognitive power. These tests do not assess reasonability ability or processing speed, but simply focus on cognitive recall. In the end, psychologists say that these tests are important because memory problems are directly linked to various psychological problems, such as neurosis, paranoia and depression.

Looking back, memory tests are excellent ways to benchmark memory performance and screen for health and psychological problems, such as dementia and depression.