New Test Aims To More Accurately Assess Brain Injuries

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A new dynamic assessment for individuals with brain trauma claims to be able to better engage and evaluate individuals with acquired brain injuries in order to create better, more personalized plans of treatment.

The Short Parallel Assessments of Neuropsychological Status (SPANS) was developed by Dr. Gerald Burgess from the University of Leicaster’s School of Psychology and is intended to better treat those with a variety of brain injuries.

What separated SPANS from the variety of other brain injury assessment devices coming onto the market is the way it measures specific cognitive skills in those with brain injury and progressive neurological conditions. The researchers say the test takes an estimated 35 minutes and measures seven key cognitive skills: orientation, attention and concentration, language, memory and learning, visuo-motor performance, efficiency, and conceptual flexibility.

The researchers also accounted for the potential need for retesting patients and created a companion test, SPANS B, to allow for reliable retesting.

Dr. Burgess told Medical Xpress, “With SPANS clinicians now have a broader and more reliable assessment that is even more useful than most tests for tracking changes in cognitive skills over time. Patients are now more thoroughly assessed by a test that is less taxing on them than some other tests, so that their difficulties may be better understood.”

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