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This presentation was made at the AD/PD meeting in Florence on 8th March 2013. In the presentation I discuss early patterns of cognitive dysfunction in patients with Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. I describe the tests traditionally used to measure cognitive impairment and propose the use of an assessment with the potential to be used successfully in both indications. I propose also that the same collection of measures can profitably be used in other CNS indications. I stress that selection is best made on the basis not of specific tests, but instead on the use of good tests that meet current best practice guidance for measuring cognitive change.