What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation is an assessment of how one's brain functions, which yields information about the structural and functional integrity of one's brain. The neuropsychological evaluation involves an interview and the administration of tests, which are typically done in pencil and paper. Some tasks might completed by the patient, but the majority of the tests require administration by a neuropsychologist.
Neuropsychological tests are standardized, meaning that they are given in the same manner to all patients and scored in a similar manner time after time. An individual's scores on tests are interpreted by comparing their score to that of healthy individuals of a similar demographic background, and to expected levels of functioning. By doing so, a neuropsychologist can determine whether one's performance on any given task represents a strength or weakness. Although individual scores are important, the neuropsychologist looks at all of the data from the evaluation to determine a pattern of cognitive strengths and weaknesses and, in turn, to understand more about how the brain is functioning.
What does a Neuropsychological Evaluation Evaluate?
Neuropsychological tests evaluate functioning in a number of areas including:
- verbal and visual memory and learning
- executive functioning
- academic achievement (if necessary)
- visual and verbal abstract reasoning
- The areas addressed in an individual's evaluation are determined by the referral question (what the referring doctor or patient wants to know), the patient's complaints and symptoms, and observations made during interview and test administration.
When can I get a Neuropsychological Evaluation with The Brain Clinic?
- Our testing days are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 2-4pm. Saturday testing is available in some cases.
How Long does a Neuropsychological Evaluation Take?
- A complete evaluation can take up to eight hours of testing and seven hours to score the material. A full, extensive report will be complete after two weeks – much faster than most of other clinics who can take up to two months.
How Can I Prepare for a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
- The patient should bring a current list of ALL medications and doses (because medicines may change frequently for some persons, it is important to make sure the list is up to date)
- It is helpful if the patient can provide records of previous neurodiagnostic testing (e.g., brain scans such as CT or MRI scans) and/or results from previous neuropsychological evaluations if completed at another hospital or institution.
- It is important to get a good night's rest before evaluation.
For information about neuropsychological evaluations and insurance coverage, click here.