Neuropsychological testing is an evaluation of brain health from a “functional” standpoint. In other words, it addresses the question, “How well is the brain doing what it is supposed to do?” The process involves having the patient perform a variety of tasks, each of which places demands on a different function or system in the brain (e.g., attention, problem solving, learning and memory, etc.). Based on the patient’s performance, the integrity of each system can be assessed. In addition, specific patterns of performance are very helpful in establishing or confirming a diagnosis
The Testing Process
The evaluation will typically last from 2-5 hours depending on the patient’s specific needs or referral question. It begins with a one hour clinical interview to gather information about patient history and presenting problems, complaints, or concerns; family members or friends are often able to provide additional information regarding these difficulties, and are welcome during the interview session. This is followed by the testing/data collection session with an examiner, conducted with breaks as needed or broken up over separate session as scheduling or fatigue dictates. The patient may also be asked to complete additional questionnaires.
The Follow-up Meeting
Patients return for a 30-60 minute feedback appointment which is typically scheduled approximately one week following testing. During this appointment the testing results, including diagnostic and prognostic implications, are discussed. The patient has ample opportunity to ask questions and recommendations are gone over in detail. The goal of the follow-up meeting is for the patient to fully understand their cognitive strengths and weaknesses, diagnosis and prognosis, and options for addressing them. You may bring family members or friends to this appointment.
A written report is prepared and sent to the referring physician, a summary of which is typically provided to the patient. When requested by the patient, copies of the report can also be provided to other health care providers, attorneys, insurance companies, schools, etc.
We often provide referrals to therapists, three of which are located in our building.