Clark R. Clipson, Ph.D.
Clipson and Osterloh, APC

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Neuropsychology


 What is neuropsychological assessment?

Neuropsychological assessment is an evaluation of cognitive functioning (i.e. brain functioning) through the administration of neuropsychological tests. This type of assessment is recommended when someone has suffered a brain injury or is suspected of having a disease which may cause a neurological disorder.  As a result of the injury or disease, the person may experience deficits in their sensory-motor functioning, thinking, memory, speech, emotional functioning or personality which interferes with their normal daily life.  Neuropsychological assessment can assist in evaluating the individual's level of functioning in a variety of areas, identify cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and offer accommodation or treatment recommendations to improve functioning.

When might someone need a neuropsychological evaluation?

If they display:

  • A signifiant change in their ability to function at work
  • Significant memory loss, especially of recent events 
  • A gradual or sudden decline in cognitive functioning
  • Sudden, unexplainable changes in personality
  • Difficulty learning new things
  • Thinking problems, including problems with attention and concentration, organizing and planning, confusion, difficulty doing more than one thing at a time 
  • Increased impulsivity
  • Difficulty communicating orally or in writing
  • Changes in visual and spatial skills
  • Problems with motor functioning

What areas of functioning are measured in a neuropsychological evaluation?

  • Intelligence
  • Problem solving
  • Planning and organization
  • Attention
  • Visual and auditory processing
  • Memory
  • Learning
  • Language
  • Academic skills
  • Perceptual and motor abilities
  • Emotions, behavior, and personality

Neuropsychological screening

There may also be times when a complete neuropsychological evaluation is not needed, but a screening examination will suffice.  For example, in cases of suspected Dementia of the Alzheimer's type, a screening evaluation can help determine if a referral to a neurologist or a more complete neuropsychological evaluation is necessary.

 

   
 
  

  

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