A clinical neuropsychologist is a professional psychologist trained in the science of brain-behavior relationships. The clinical neuropsychologist specializes in the application of assessment and intervention principles based on the scientific study of human behavior across the lifespan as it relates to normal and abnormal functioning of the central nervous system.
Neuropsychological evaluations involve assessment of brain functions across a range of neurological and medical conditions. This is done through the collection, interpretation, and integration of objective and subjective test data collected through standardized measures of mental status, intellectual functioning, academic skills, language, memory, spatial/constructional abilities, motor abilities, processing speed, attention/concentration, reasoning/problem solving, mood and personality, and behavioral health. The evaluation process also includes detailed clinical interviews with the patient and any family members present for the evaluation.
Neuropsychologists often work with medical doctors such as psychiatrists, geriatricians, and neurologists to help with the functional and diagnostic assessment of patients. Recommendations are made for treatment and intervention or level of care. When possible, the family is included to increase their understanding of the patient's condition and limitations.
Neuropsychological assessment is often useful in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of:
Traumatic Brain Injury
What to expect...
Neuropsychological evaluations are typically completed in one day. In most cases, a feedback session will be scheduled approximately one week later to review the results and any recommendations. A comprehensive written report will then be provided to the referring doctor. The report may also be sent to other treating providers at the patient's request.
On the day of the evaluation:
An in-depth clinical interview is conducted to discuss your concerns and gather background information including the progression of your symptoms and family history. This will take about an hour. It may be helpful to have a family member or friend with you for the interview to provide additional information.
Objective, comprehensive cognitive and personality testing is conducted. Testing typically takes about 2-4 hours. Breaks can be taken as needed. Most of the tests involve working one-on-one with your neuropsychologist or a trained staff member. The testing may involve question-and-answer or working with materials on a table. Some tests may use a computer. The testing is non-invasive and does not require attaching you to a machine or x-rays. Family members are not allowed to sit in during the testing.
Once testing has been completed, an appointment for feedback will be scheduled. You are encouraged to bring family members with you to the feedback appointment.