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Subtle Cognitive Impairment Test

Subtle Cognitive Impairment Test

Subtle Cognitive Impairment TestSubtle Cognitive Impairment TestSubtle Cognitive Impairment Test

Cognition provides a window into our health

Thinking clearly


Our abilities to think logically, to plan and to remember, enable us to navigate the modern world. If these abilities begin to fail, we can feel disoriented and find it difficult to cope with the demands of everyday life, such as shopping, paying the bills and making appointments.

Problems with thinking clearly can just be a sign that we getting older. Once we begin to notice small lapses, it is easy to imagine the problem is greater than it really is. People can worry unnecessarily that they may be in the early stages of dementia and be unwilling to share their concerns with family or friends. 

SCIT allows you to discretely check your cognitive performance without having to alarm your loved ones or consult a doctor.

Brains need blood - lots!


Our brain controls our thoughts, memories, emotions and actions. Our personality, who we are as an individual, is the result of trillions of brain cells working together. 

To function effectively, these brain cells need nourishment and oxygen from the blood supply. In fact, the brain contains far more blood vessels than any other part of our body. This means that brain function is very sensitive to a reduced blood supply or to alterations in the composition of the blood. 

Changes in our ability to think clearly (cognition) can be an early sign that something is wrong with our blood, our heart or our lungs. If detected early, these problems can often be rectified.

Most problems are treatable


Commonly, problems with thinking indicate treatable health problems that prevent our brain from functioning normally. Once they have been treated, our cognition returns to normal. 

Examples of treatable disorders that can affect cognition include:

  • Inflammatory bowel disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and coeliac disease 
  • Disrupted sleep, such as insomnia or obstructive sleep apnoea
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Cardiovascular disease and hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Side-effects of prescription medications or other drugs
  • Dehydration, anaemia or malnutrition

Caring for your brain


Looking after your brain is just as important as looking after your body. The secret is to ensure that the blood vessels that supply the brain are kept in excellent condition and the blood flowing within them is well oxygenated and free of contaminants. 

Follow a regime of exercise and diet similar to that for maintaining a healthy heart or for managing diabetes:

  • Aerobic exercise for 30 minutes, three times a week
  • A diet low in saturated fats, salt, sugars and simple carbohydrates
  • Daily servings of green vegetables and fresh fruits 
  • Fish oil and vitamins B, C & E 
  • Keep your BMI (Body Mass Index) within the healthy range
  • Consume alcohol responsibly and avoid other recreational drugs (including cigarettes)
  • Practice good sleep hygiene
  • Visit your doctor regularly for a check up

Warning signs


Sometimes, problems with thinking can indicate disease in the brain. 

Sudden, severe changes in cognition can include loss of speech, inability to move an arm or leg, impaired vision, loss of balance or loss of consciousness. If these symptoms occur, they should be treated as a medical emergency. 

Gradual changes in cognition can be difficult to detect. Warning signs include:

  • Getting confused by work tasks that used to be routine
  • Story lines in television series and books seem to be getting too complicated 
  • Forgetting events or people in your past that should be familiar
  • An increased rate of clumsiness or becoming accident-prone
  • A feeling that your thinking or ability to make decisions is slowing down

Where to seek help


Many of the conditions that affect brain function can be rectified. If you suspect that you, or a family member is experiencing problems with thinking clearly, it is best to seek help from your family doctor. 

Rather than visit a doctor in the first instance, some people prefer to find out for themselves whether the problems they are experiencing can be verified. For instance, you might notice that your thinking seems ‘foggy’ after eating particular foods, and you would like a way of being certain. 

SCIT can be done via the internet in the privacy of your home. It provides a quick assessment of cognitive performance and can be repeated as often as required. SCIT does not diagnose the cause of the disorder, but it can detect whether your general cognitive ability is impaired. If you wish, you can print the results and show them to your doctor.