© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA.Neurocognitive disorders are frequent among chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. Identifying and characterizing cognitive impairment (CI) can help to assess the ability of adherence to CKD risk reduction strategy, identify potentially reversible causes of cognitive decline, modify pharmacotherapy, educate the patient and caregiver and provide appropriate patient and caregiver support. Numerous factors are associated with the development and progression of CI in CKD patients and various conditions can influence the results of cognitive assessment in these patients. Here we review clinical warning signs that should lead to cognitive screening; conditions frequent in CKD at risk to interfere with cognitive testing or performance, including specificities of cognitive assessment in dialysis patients or after kidney transplantation; and available tests for screening and observed cognitive patterns in CKD patients.