Before a concussion, aging, or a diagnosis of mental illness, my brain worked in a certain way. Now, after one or more of these change, how do I get back to that if my brain function has never been measured? Answer: me and my health care professionals will have guess and hope for the best. However, there's a better way...
COGNITIVE BASELINE TESTING is the answer. Conducting this now, before cognitive changes occur in my life, is my brain's INSURANCE POLICY. As an athlete, this test should be conducted as soon as possible after contact sport has begun. While I'm also aging, this should be done as soon as possible to capture a 'snap shot' of my brain function today. If there is mental illness in my family, I'll want to have the Baseline Testing now, just in case I experience mental illness myself. Brain FX is a suite of cognitive testing tools.
WHAT IS BRAIN FX?
Brain FX has been developed by Tracy and Heather, Occupational Therapists who worked in neuro-rehab for 1over 18 years. Together, they realized the standard, traditional cognitive tests they had been using were giving results that were not consistent with the actual functioning of their clients who had been diagnosed as mild to moderate brain dysfunction. They noted that the more complex functional cognitive skills were missing from traditional pen / paper tests, as were the client's physical and psychosocial realities.
The Brain FX suite includes the Screen (used for Cognitive Baseline Testing), 360 (used for post-injury testing and rehabilitation planning), and Virtual (a modified 360 to be used when in person testing is not possible. FMI: https://www.brainfx.com/
HOW and WHAT IS TESTED
~ It is conducted by a Brain FX certified and experienced Occupational Therapist. Not all Occupational Therapists use the Brain FX system or have this specialized training.
~ The testing is done in person, using masking and distancing when required by Public Health. It takes about 15 -20 minutes.
~ It assesses my abstract reasoning (can I apply reason to solve new problems), visual spatial (can I tell where my body is in space - this affects my balance), route finding (can I find my way home?), prioritizing (can I sort out which tasks are most important?), and others.
WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE AND DURING TESTING
~ Before I attend the session for my Cognitive Baseline Testing, the Occupational Therapist contacts me to ask about other health issues or diagnoses, including medications, because these can also affect my brain function.
~ I attend the session at the office.
~ I use a tablet, supplied by Brain FX, that tabulates my scores.
~ I receive the BaselIne Report within 2 business days by email. I store this with my other health documents.
WHAT HAPPENS if I HAVE SOME BRAIN CHANGES in FUTURE
If suddenly, I experience a concussion, or next year, my family begins to see changes in my memory and thinking, I can go back to my Occupational Therapist and ask for another Cognitive Test. I can be re-tested within two weeks using this assessment tool.
My new results will be compared with the results in my Baseline Report to identify the areas of my brain that have been affected by the event of concussion / head injury, aging, or mental illness diagnosis. Depending upon these results, my Occupational Therapist may recommend further testing, Brain FX 360, the most comprehensive brain assessment in the Brain FX Suite, and testing 25 distinct areas of brain function.
Once we know how my brain has been affected, the Occupational Therapist can develop an individualized COGNITIVE REHABILITATION PLANS for me. If I've had an accident, my plan will focus on regaining lost abilities through the miracle of neuroplasticity. If the changes have occurred while I've been aging, with no accident present, my plan may focus on slowing the advancement of any cognitive decline.
Insurance policies are meant to help us when we need it. That's what a Cognitive Baseline Test does; it helps us when thing change... because life changes!