Cognitive deficits can involve one or more areas of brain function, such as attention, perception, thought, memory, reasoning and problem-solving. Certain behavioral problems may reflect underlying cognitive deficits. Before behavioral problems can be effectively treated, clinicians need an accurate way to measure the type and degree of cognitive deficits. That is why Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego conducts numerous assessments.
Comprehensive cognitive assessment does not measure how smart a person is. Everyone has strengths in some areas and weaknesses in others. At Sovereign Health, the purpose of our comprehensive cognitive assessment is to determine the current level of functioning in a number of different areas:
- Attention and concentration relates to the ability to mentally and physically focus
- Memory is the ability to accurately recall information from the recent or distant past
- Organizational skills pertain to physical and mental management and prioritization
- Reasoning relates to logic and understanding
- Problem-solving requires creativity and the ability to find solutions
- Decision-making involves insight into projected outcomes
- Executive skills relate to self-discipline, self-control and self-monitoring
Accurate assessment allows clinicians to design targeted cognitive rehabilitation exercises for individual patients. These exercises stimulate the growth of new neurons (brain cells) in the areas where there are deficits. For example, teens who have used excessive amounts of drugs or alcohol often demonstrate high levels of impulsivity. Cognitive rehabilitation exercises designed to reduce impulsivity would focus on the areas of the brain responsible for executive skills.
Many different factors affect cognitive function, including genetics, nutrition, environment, lifestyle and more. Even individuals with normal cognitive development can suffer cognitive deficits due to certain circumstances, such as:
- Head injury
- Emotional abuse or trauma
- Drug or alcohol use
- Toxin exposure
- Certain disease states
- Serious mental illness
Fortunately, the brain has a remarkable capacity to recover from illness or injury. At Sovereign Health, we specialize in cognitive assessment and cognitive remediation therapy for adolescents and adults.