Clinical Neuropsychology is a specialty that focuses on brain functioning. A Clinical Neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist with expertise in how behavior is related to brain structures and systems. In Clinical Neuropsychology, brain function is evaluated by objectively testing thinking skills. A very detailed assessment of abilities is administered, and the pattern of strengths and weaknesses is used to assist with diagnosis and treatment planning.Why Have I Been Referred?
Referrals are typically made to Neuropsychologists because the patient has had complaints or symptoms of cognitive decline/change. Typically referrals are made to diagnose or rule out conditions and to describe their impact on the personís cognitive functioning. Examples include:Traumatic Brain InjuryStroke Dementia Alzheimerís DiseaseLewy Body Dementia Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)Parkinsonís Disease Seizure Disorders Multiple Sclerosis Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
Referrals are also made to assist with evaluation before and after neurosurgical procedures (e.g., deep brain stimulation & spinal cord stimulation). Evaluations can be invaluable for disability determination or for forensic (legal purposes). Additionally, neuropsychological and psychological evaluations are sometimes required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for pilots, aspiring pilots, and air traffic controllers.What is Assessed?General IntellectHigher Level Cognitive Skills (sequencing, abstract reasoning, problem solving) Attention and Concentration Learning and MemoryLanguage FunctioningVisual Spatial Skills Motor and Sensory SkillsMood and PersonalityWhat Will the Results Tell Me?
Test results can be used to understand your situation in a number of ways:Determine if you have any cognitive changes beyond what is expected for someone your age and education levelConfirm or clarify diagnosisProvide a baseline against which subsequent evaluations can be compared to determine if functioning has declined or improvedHelp plan treatments specific for your needs and provide recommendations for your physicians and familyHelp determine competency or if an individual has the capacity to manage their own affairs independentlyWhat Should I Expect?
A Neuropsychological evaluation typically consists of an interview and testing. During the interview basic background information (regarding your medical and social history, symptoms, medication, etc.) is discussed. A complete evaluation can take anywhere from 3 to 8 hours. This time frame varies based on the patientís reason for referral and individual circumstances. The amount of time needed for testing will be discussed with you prior to scheduling the appointment.
Testing involves taking paper-and-pencil or computerized tests and answering questions. Some of the testing may seem easy while other tests may be more challenging. We do not expect you to get everything right. The most important thing is to try your best.
For more information, please call 850.474.8353.