Cognitive assessment for detecting early signs of dementia and for tracking therapy effectiveness is normally performed by trained professionals using specialty assessment tools. A new system is now coming out that will allow physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other clinicians to easily perform these kinds of assessments. The Cognivue from Cerebral Assessment System (CAS), a Rochester, NY firm, won FDA de novo approval, effectively opening up a new category of FDA sanctioned medical devices named Cognitive Assessment Aids.

The system relies on a user controlling a steering wheel-like device to follow along with different highlighted graphics being displayed on the screen. According to CAS, “[w]e continually change the strength of the highlighting perceptual signal by mixing that signal, designed to activate a particular cortical area, with a type of noise that impedes that activation.” The software records how accurately the patient follows along with the graphics, producing a variety of scores of how different regions of the cerebral cortex are performing.


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More about the background behind the technology according to the company:

CAS uses a cognitive psychophysical approach to study brain function, by engaging patients in continuous stimulus-response paradigms that demand an intervening cognitive process. This approach enables the measurement of focal cortical function to be compared to individual and group performance standards to assist clinicians in the detection and monitoring of cognitive impairment.

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