Cognitive Assessment / Clinical Trials

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Cognitive function can also be assessed in pet animals using a neuropsychological assessment protocol. Cognitive function is also evaluated using questionnaires in which owners are asked a battery of questions about their pet's behavior. These typically include questions about alterations in: alertness, sleep, general activity, house soiling, and interactions between pets and/or conspecifics.

The above data was collected using a version of the cognitive test protocol that was modified to allow testing of companion animals in veterinary clinics. Performance in pets showed a similar profile across tests to that seen in laboratory animals.

Setting up a cognitive assessment trial is complex and should ideally include both neuropsychological task performance, to help establish level of cognitive ability, and questionnaire data to determine whether signs associated with cognitive ability have declined over time.