What is a neuropsychological evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation involves testing that is sensitive to problems in brain functioning. Just as CT and MRI scans of the brain show what the structure of the brain looks like, neuropsychological testing examines how well the brain is working when it performs certain functions (for example, remembering or problem solving). The types of tests that you will take will depend on the questions that you and your doctor have. The tests may assess areas of cognitive functioning such as language, attention, memory, problems solving, and visual spatial abilities. Motivation and emotional functioning is also often evaluated. The tests are not invasive. Most of the tests will involve questions-and-answers, as well as working with materials on a table. Some tests will involve the use of a computer, and only basic computer skills are needed.
How long does a neuropsychological evaluation take?
The total time involved in your evaluation will depend on the questions that you and your doctor have, as well as individual needs such as rest breaks. A typical evaluation takes approximately 4 to 5 hours and consists of a clinical interview and testing session.
What is the information gained in a neuropsychological evaluation used for?
• It assists with differential diagnosis
• It provides recommendations for treatment & behavioral management based on the individual’s findings
• It assists with the development of cognitive rehabilitation treatment plans if applicable
Why would you refer someone for a neuropsychological evaluation?
• To assist with a standardized evaluation of an individual’s cognitive abilities
• To determine a person’s overall level of cognitive ability, and the extent to which it influences his/her behavior
• To assess for cognitive changes over time
• To assess recovery or effectiveness of treatment
• To identify the presence of cognitive difficulties that warrant academic or work-related accommodations
What is a neuropsychologist?
A neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist specializing in brain-behavior relationships. Although a neuropsychologist has a doctoral degree in psychology, he/she does not just focus on emotional or psychological problems. The neuropsychologist has additional training in the specialty field of Clinical Neuropsychology. That means a neuropsychologist is educated in brain anatomy, brain function, and brain injury or disease. The neuropsychologist also has specialized training in administering and interpreting the specific kinds of tests included in your neuropsychological evaluation.
If you would like more information on Neuropsychology and Neuropsychological Evaluations, please visit the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) website at www.nanonline.org or contact Dr. Kreiling at 541-306-6456. The above information as well as additional information about neuropsychology can be found from the National Academy of Neuropsychology. Adult Clinical Neuropsychology Brochure
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