Why Measure Cognition?
Mental health issues are on the rise, but brain health is often lost in the discussion when seeking treatment. Most healthcare practitioners attempt to measure mental health issues like depression and anxiety with screening tools. Very few, however, are attempting to assess how these issues affect cognitive function and brain health.
At Altasano, we are committed to optimizing health, including brain health, which is why we are introducing cognitive performance assessments from Creyos Health. When you schedule an initial appointment for a Wellness Assessment or Ketamine Therapy for depression treatment, we will offer a quick, fun series of tasks that objectively measure your memory, reasoning, verbal ability, and attention—all facets of cognition that are important in your everyday life. This assessment is included in your initial evaluation and can be repeated throughout the course of your treatments to measure cognition over time.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it
We all have a subjective idea of how our brains are doing—some days we feel “off” or have “brain fog,” while other days we feel like we can take on the world. But how much better are we on the good days? Are lifestyle or health changes making a difference? That’s where cognitive assessment comes in. By putting a number to these subjective feelings, we can discover what is causing the good days in order to have more of them. When your brain is performing, every activity in your daily life will be easier, from remembering where you parked your car to doing your monthly budgeting and bill paying.
An Engaging and Scientifically-Validated Cognitive Assessment Platform
Altasano uses the Creyos Health brain health assessment platform to assess, monitor, and manage core areas of cognition to ensure that your treatment toward health and wellness is on the right track.
The Creyos Health tasks have been validated by decades of scientific research, and are proven to measure the most important aspects of cognition. Performance is directly linked with the areas of your brain that are required for each cognitive domain. But more importantly, the tasks are fun, and only take 40 minutes to complete. Now, not only will you feel better, but you can objectively track how your brain is responding.
Is This an IQ Test?
This is not an IQ test and your brain can’t be defined by one number. Your cognitive function is not a single, unchanging, and physical measurement—like height—that can stay constant day in and day out. Think of it more like a blood pressure cuff for your brain. The goal is progress over time, because we acknowledge that brain health changes from day to day.
Cognition is complex. you may be stronger at one aspect of cognition (e.g., memory), yet weaker another (e.g., planning or problem solving). To truly understand your cognitive abilities, several different measures are needed.
That’s why we believe we can improve or maintain your performance throughout your treatment, and now include cognitive assessments as a standard part of the program.
Are Cognitive Assessments Relevant to Me?
Cognitive health affects almost every part of your life. Conditions that have traditionally been seen as purely physical, such as pain, are well documented to have cognitive effects as well. Brain fog, fatigue, loss of focus, distractibility, word-finding, recall and memory issues, etc., are among the many complaints that we hear from the people we see. Many are trying to manage chronic physical issues such as depression, chronic fatigue, post-viral fatigue syndrome, chronic lyme disease, stomach and bowel issues, mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and many other inflammation related issues. When you’re not feeling well, you’re likely not thinking well either.
Cognitive abilities can also change, even on a daily basis. In that sense, cognitive function is more like blood pressure than it is like height. That is to say, over the long term it is more or less constant (assuming you stay healthy), however significant fluctuations may occur on a day to day basis depending on what you’ve been doing, your sleep habits, your stress level, what you’ve eaten, your mood, and a multitude of other factors.
Discuss cognitive assessments with us to see how the brain benefits of our customized treatment plans can help improve your life.
KEEP YOUR TREATMENT ON TRACK
The assessments are highly engaging and gamified, efficient (completion time of 1.5 – 3 minutes per task), and can be taken online or in person using common everyday devices like iPads, or desktop and laptop computers.
BETTER OUTCOMES VIA MEASUREMENT-BASED CARE
The tasks you will complete have been developed by leading neuroscientists over the last 25+ years, taken over 8 million times, and used in 300+ peer-reviewed studies of cognition.
BELIEVE IN A HIGHER QUALITY OF CARE
The tools accurately measure core elements of your cognitive function, including memory, attention, reasoning and verbal abilities, throughout your treatment plan.
What Do Results Look Like?
Your report will show you your raw score on each task, as well as how your score compares to others in similar age and gender groups. A sample report is available here. The report is designed to be easy to read and understand. It becomes more valuable with each additional assessment, showing your progress and letting you know when significant changes occur. We will review your report after each assessment in order to measure progress and make adjustments as necessary.
“I feel like I did not do well on my assessment – should I be concerned?”
You should not be concerned if you feel you did not do your best – there is no such thing as “best” for this type of assessment. The tasks are designed to be challenging and to measure your abilities by getting increasingly difficult as you answer questions correctly. Please be aware that this is only a snapshot of your cognition at the moment you are completing the assessment and that cognitive performance tends to fluctuate naturally from day to day depending on many factors (like your sleep quality, stress level, nutrition, exercise regimens, etc.).
“I could not complete my assessment due to an interruption or technical issue – what should I do?”
If you’re interrupted or experience a technical issue during the assessment, contact us and describe the situation, as well as the task you were on, so that results for that specific task can be interpreted appropriately. If you experience a technical issue that prevents you from accessing the assessment, let us know the operating system and browser you are using.
The first step in managing brain health is to measure it. Along with lab work and physical assessment, we will formulate a plan. This may include referral to other providers and/or collaboration with your current healthcare providers.
Your treatment plan will focus on four main area: Optimizing sleep, nutrition, activity and connection. Treatment plans vary based on your underlying condition.
By tracking your cognitive function along with our mood monitoring platform with Osmind, we will be able to see which interventions work and adjust your treatment plan accordingly.