Objectives. Neuropsychological assessment of cognitive functions in persons with suspected mild cognitive impairment is an important part of diagnosis.
Review. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a transition stage between cognitive changes seen in normal aging and those in dementia. The presence of MCI is associated with a higher risk of dementia in the future. Neuropsychological diagnostic methods are used to assess cognitive functioning. Screening methods, such as the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and The Clock Drawing Test, examine the general cognitive abilities. In a more detailed assessment of verbal functions the following instruments are used: The Naming Test, The Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT), Digit Span from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, The Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), The California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT), The Test of Associated Learning and The Verbal Concept Attainment Test (VCAT). Visuospatial abilities are examined using The Trail Making Test, The Benton Visual Retention Test (BVRT), The Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCF) and The Ruff Figural Fluency Test (RFFT). The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and many subscales of the above-listed tests assess executive functions.
Conclusions. Neuropsychological diagnostic methods allow to objectively assess cognitive functions in persons with mild cognitive impairment.