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Are you older than 50 and worried about memory changes? If so, you're not alone. A recent Brain Health Study showed that 70

percent of Americans aged 45 to 79 describe their memory as much worse or somewhat worse now compared with five years ago. Of that group, 91 percent believe middle-aged and older adults should have their brain health checked regularly. So how do you know if you need to see a doctor about your memory concerns? Today, Cogniciti Inc, a brain health solutions company, helps make that decision easier with the launch of a free, online Brain Health Assessment.

While not a diagnostic tool, the assessment is like a temperature check for the mind that will help people determine the right time to discuss their memory concerns with their doctor. The aim is to reassure the vast majority of adults who are healthy (the "worried well") and nudge the small percentage of people who scored below normal to get checked by their doctor.

"Getting checked early is the best way to rule out other health problems, such as stress and depression, that could be causing cognitive issues," said Dr. Angela Troyer, program director of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Health at Baycrest Health Sciences, and a lead member of the research team that developed the test. "If it turns out you do have a significant problem with your memory, then early diagnosis will help you maintain your cognitive health and independence for as long as possible, and enable you and your family to plan for the care and support you'll need in the future."

The Cogniciti Brain Health Assessment is specifically aimed at adults 50 to 79 years old. It takes 20 minutes by using game-like activities, which scientists know are sensitive to changes in brain health due to aging, including matching games and face and name recognition. Those who complete the test will receive an immediate Yes/No report about whether to take their memory concerns to their doctor. The 2-to-3 percent who score below normal will be encouraged to retest a week later and will be provided a report to take to their doctor. If a score is within the normal range, the test taker will be provided with a science-based action plan to keep their minds sharp and brains healthy. Participants can take the online test in the privacy of their home and scores are stored in a password-protected form, allowing test-takers to track their performance over time.

"We know that many adults worry about the forgetfulness that comes with aging, and fear it might be something more serious," said Cogniciti President Michael Meagher. "In fact, the Brain Health Study showed that dementia/Alzheimer's ranks as the second most feared disease in America behind cancer." Eight of 10 Americans surveyed stated that it was very important for them to have access to a brain health assessment that was private, free, and supported by clinical research to answer the question "Is my memory normal or should I see my doctor?" Cogniciti's Brain Health Assessment is exactly that tool, available online for free.

Although memory and attention loss are natural parts of aging, the symptoms for anxiety, depression, and even the more serious diseases such as Alzheimer's, are so similarthat people tend to delay getting checked out–often for years. Those delays can cause needless worry for the well and make treatment tougher for those who do have a neurodegenerative disease.

Cogniciti's Brain Health Assessment can help eliminate those delays and get the right people to the doctor earlier.

The Brain Health Assessment was designed by a team of clinical neuropsychologists and cognitive scientists at Baycrest and its world-renowned Rotman Research Institute. More than 1,000 adults volunteered to participate in its development. The final normative data was collected from a panel of more than 300 men and women aged 50 to 79.

Visit cogniciti.com to take the Brain Health Assessment and access additional tools and science-based information, such as a Memory Center and a Caregiver Center, to help adults proactively manage their brain health.

Source: Cogniciti Inc

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