Frequently Asked Questions
- +What is a neuropsychological evaluation?
Neuropsychology is a specialty that focuses on the evaluation of cognitive and psychological functioning. Neuropsychologists have specialized training in brain function, brain injury and disease, and neuroanatomy. With the help of standardized tests, we can obtain information that is vital in an overall diagnostic work-up and can offer the physician important information often necessary for:
+ Assessment of cognitive impairment and areas of preserved function relating to a neurological injury or disease- useful for patients with head injury, brain tumors, cerebrovascular disease and stroke, encephalitis, and other conditions affecting the CNS.
+ Diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities in adults and children
+ Diagnosis of dementia (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia) – for patients over 60 complaining of memory problems.
+ Evaluation may last 2 to 2.5 hours.
+ Differentiation between psychological and organic causes of cognitive dysfunction
+ Acquisition of reasonable accommodations at work or school as per the Americans with Disabilities Act
+ Acquisition of disability benefits
+ Monitoring functioning over time in a patient taking medication for cognitive dysfunction (e.g., cholinesterase inhibitors for dementia, stimulants for ADHD)
- +Who is qualified to conduct a neuropsychological evaluation?
A neuropsychologist is someone who has earned a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, completed pre- and post-doctoral training in neuropsychology, and has become licensed as a psychologist.
- +How do I know if a neuropsychological examination is necessary?
If you’ve noticed a decline in one or more of your cognitive abilities, you should be evaluated.
- +What is involved in the evaluation?
The neuropsychologist will spend time with you to get a detailed history. You will be asked to talk about the problems you’ve been having and how they’ve been affecting you. Then, you’ll do some mental exercises or tasks. These tasks will assess your ability to focus, process, learn, remember, and so on. The evaluation is not a test of how smart you are or of how much you know. You don’t need to be nervous. The tasks simply give us information about how your brain is working.
- +How long does the evaluation last?
The interview usually takes 30-60 minutes and the assessment session could be an hour or a few hours. We want you to be as comfortable as possible, so you can take as many breaks as you need and, for many of the tasks, you can work at your own pace. That’s why it’s hard to tell you exactly how long it will last.
- +What will happen after evaluation?
Most people return to the doctor who referred them for the evaluation to go over the results, but we also encourage you to meet with us for a more detailed review of your neuropsychological report. It’s written for you and we want to make sure you understand everything in it.
- +How long does it take to get a report?
It usually takes between 2 and 4 weeks for a final report to be completed. If necessary, however, the report can be completed in less time.
- +What does a neuropsychological evaluation do?
This type of evaluation determines if a person’s thinking skills, mood and personality have been affected by a neurological 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.
- +How do I prepare for a neuropsychological evaluation?
+ Bring eyeglasses and any other required assistive devices such as hearing aids.
+ Take medication as prescribed, unless otherwise specified by your doctor.
+ Bring an accurate list of all medications you are taking, along with the dosages.
+ A break during the testing for lunch will be provided. The patient should bring his or her lunch.
+ Get a good night’s sleep the night before.
- +Does Insurance cover the cost of a neuropsychological evaluation?
Neuropsychological evaluations are typically covered by insurance. Since most people referred to us have some form of cognitive compromise, dealing with the insurance companies is difficult for them. Therefore, we have a very experienced billing director who will gather your insurance information and assist with filing your claims..
- +What insurance providers do we work with?
Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, Kaiser. If your insurance provider is not listed here please call our office to check..