Common Reasons for Evaluation
Our team commonly performs neuropsychological evaluations to:
- Diagnose memory and attention problems
- Distinguish dementia from depression
- Differentiate the signs of normal aging from symptoms of early dementia
- Determine if there are cognitive side effects from toxic exposures, substance abuse, or certain medications
- Evaluate the cognitive impact of seizure disorders
- Assess a person's capacity or level of disability
- Objectively document a person's recovery from a neurologic injury or illness
With neuropsychological testing, our clinicians can generate a better picture of how the patient's thought processes are being affected, and use this information to customize the best course of care.
What Happens During a Neuropsychological Evaluation
The cognitive testing performed during a neuropsychological evaluation is not invasive. For the most part, the patient works one-on-one with an examiner, responding to questions. We use standard test to assess attention, memory, reasoning, problem-solving, visual-spatial skills, language, motor functions, academic skills, and emotional functioning. The types of tests that that we use depend on the question the referring physician is asking. Our specially trained examiners conduct the testing, tailoring the evaluation to each patient's needs.
The length of the evaluation generally ranges from three to six hours, and may be conducted over the course of two or more appointments, if necessary. Patients should bring all sensory aides (such as glasses and hearing aids), records from any prior cognitive testing, and a list of current medications to the exam.