A Neuropsychological Evaluation is a formal assessment of mood, personality and cognitive abilities (such as memory, concentration and problem solving) that is conducted by a certified Neuropsychologist.
Research shows that many people with acquired brain injuries, movement disorders, or psychiatric disorders demonstrate changes in their mood, personality and thinking skills (such as attention, memory and planning). The same changes can be seen in some elderly or ageing individuals or in those with dementia. These changes may be subtle or dramatic and may reflect the underlying disease process or side effects from treatment.
This type of evaluation determines if a person’s thinking skills, mood and personality have been affected by an Acquired, Developmental, Neuropsychiatric or Degenerative Disorder.
A Neuropsychological Evaluation also does the following:
- Establishes a baseline so that changes in thinking skills, mood and personality can be monitored over time to provide better treatment
- Helps the patient and family make decisions about work and other responsibilities
- Educates family members about how the brain disorder has affected the patient’s thinking skills and personality so they can better help and understand
- Provides information for a physician in order to help with medication selection to reduce side effects or improve cognition
Neuropsychological Evaluations are frequently a necessary component of:
- Decision Making Capacity Assessment
- Medico-Legal Case Review
There are two parts to a Neuropsychological Evaluation:
It is an interview, which takes from one to one and one half hours, in which the neuropsychologist interviews the patient and a family member separately to determine how the neurological disorder is affecting the patient’s life.
It is the neuropsychological testing, which can take from three to four hours. A Neuropsychologist administers tests measuring concentration, memory and a range of verbal and visual abilities. The testing is usually completed in one visit.