Dr. Karen Lindgren is Senior Director of Neuropsychology Services at Bancroft NeuroRehab. Below, she demystifies the Neuropsychological Evaluation process.
What is a neuropsychological evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation is a snapshot of your cognitive functioning. We use the results to provide diagnostic information to the physician as well as create a customized, comprehensive treatment plan.
A proper evaluation is an important diagnostic tool. Sometimes the reason for cognitive changes are obvious – a person’s had a brain injury or they’ve have a concussion and you’re are trying to understand if cognition has changed as well.
What advice would you give to families seeking a neuropsychological evaluation for a loved one?
I recommend families talk to their physicians about whether a neuropsychological evaluation is appropriate when they have concerns about a loved one’s cognition. If they see changes in memory, judgement or planning and initiation – anything they noticed has changed. It’s really important for families to seek a proper evaluation early in the process, before condition worsens.
Where is a neuropsychological evaluation administered?
A Neuropsychological evaluation is typically administered in an office, with a neuropsychologist or with a clinician known as a psychometrician, who works closely with the neuropsychologist.
What can families expect when seeking a neuropsychological evaluation?
Families will typically participate in an interview with their loved one and then leave the loved one with clinical staff for the testing process. Once a neuropsychological evaluation is completed, the neuropsychologist review comprehensive test results with the patient and family.
What information can we learn from a neuropsychological evaluation?
A proper neuropsychological evaluation reveals preserved cognitive strengths and areas of weakness or deficit. The goal is to develop a comprehensive treatment plan so that a person uses their areas of strength to compensate for the areas of weakness after evaluation and treatment.