Frequently Asked Questions
Here you can find some of our Frequently Asked Questions. Please contact our office if you need further assistance.
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)
Option 2: A neuropsychological evaluation is a formal assessment of cognition (thinking abilities). It can provide detailed information about your ability to focus, process information, learn, remember, and solve problems. Research shows that many conditions can result in changes to your thinking abilities. These conditions could be medical, psychiatric, and/or developmental. Examples of medical conditions that could affect thinking include a brain injury, stroke, heart attack, diabetes, epilepsy, sleep apnea, Lyme disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Lupus. Examples of psychiatric conditions include depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Examples of developmental conditions include an attention deficit disorder, a learning disability, and autism. There are also many other things that can affect one’s thinking abilities, including fatigue, pain, stress, and medication side effects. A neuropsychological evaluation can help determine why you’re having cognitive problems. With that information, important decisions can be made about the best way to treat the problems.
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.
There are many reasons for neuropsychological evaluations. For example, it’s important to have a neuropsychological evaluation if:
1) you’ve noticed a decline in a specific cognitive domain (like memory or attention) or in your overall cognitive functioning;
2) you’re starting to have trouble with your responsibilities at work, at school, or at home;
3) you need to establish a baseline of your cognitive functioning prior to surgery;
4) you have a history of dementia in your family; or
5) you’ve been diagnosed with a condition that can affect cognitive functioning (e.g., multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, etc.).
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.
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.
It usually takes between 4 to 5 weeks for a final report to be completed. If necessary, however, the report can be completed in less time.
Most evaluations can be completed within 3 to 5 hours, depending on the type of the 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.
Neuropsychological evaluations are typically covered by insurance. We have an experienced insurance specialist who will verify that you have coverage and will work with you to determine your benefits. She also will be available to answer any questions you may have.