What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
A Neuropsychological Evaluation includes a battery of tests designed to assist you, your family, your doctors and other medical professionals in understanding how different areas and systems in your brain are working. Changes in your cognitive functioning can be the direct result of a number of medical, neurological, psychological and/or genetic causes.
Referrals for a Neuropsychological Assessment can come from the patient (self-referral), family members, neurologists and other medical specialists, primary care providers, courts and other sources.
Assessment is usually recommended when there are concerns, symptoms or complaints regarding memory or thinking, concentration, reasoning, language difficulties, perception and/or personality functioning.
A comprehensive Neuropsychological Assessment can help confirm, rule-out or clarify a diagnosis, document changes in cognitive functioning, guide treatment, inform clinical recommendations, and assist in referrals to other specialists.
A typical Neuropsychological Assessment will take several hours in The Clinic’s office. The evaluation includes an in-depth clinical history, behavioral observations during the testing, and assessment in the following areas:
- General Intellect
- Attention & Concentration
- Language Functioning
- Problem Solving &
- Attention & Concentration
- Memory & Learning
- Motor Functioning
- Sensory-Perceptual Functioning
- Planning & Organizing
- Visual-Spatial Functioning
- Academic Functioning
- Emotions, Behaviors, and Personality
How are test scores used?
Test results are compared to other people of your age/education, and they can be used to understand your situation in various ways. For example, the neuropsychologist can use your test scores to determine if your cognitive functioning is normal for your age and educational background, or if there are deficits beyond what would normally be expected.
Sometimes neuropsychological testing will be used to establish a baseline of your cognitive functioning when there are concerns of a possible progressive neurological disorder. Tests can then be compared over time to help establish the extent of progression of a disease.
Your neurologist or physician will use this information, along with neuro imaging, blood workups, and other methods to come up with the most informed decision regarding your diagnosis and treatment.
Information gained from neuropsychological testing can also be utilized to identify specific areas of weakness and strategies that can be used for recovery.
The test results then also serve to develop a tailored treatment plan either for relearning of cognitive abilities through exercises or to identify and enhance compensatory strategies and organizational and memory strategies to help patients in operating better in their day-to-day lives.