When a person has suffered impairment from an accident, stroke or illness they may need evaluation to test abilities such as memory, reason or speech. Gundersen Neuropsychology uses comprehensive assessments to test brain function and provide treatment options.
Neuropsychological testing may be done when there's impairment in cognitive, behavioral, and/or emotional functioning. Testing may be done to rule out the following conditions or to determine their impact:
The tests can be used to monitor the progress in rehabilitation after a brain injury or other neurological disease and to plan educational and vocational programs. It can also provide disability determination and be used for legal purposes.
Various mental capacities are evaluated during a neuropsychological examination, including:
- Perceptual and motor abilities
- Attention, memory and learning
- Planning and organization
- Problem solving and conceptualization
- Academic skills
- Emotional status, behavior and personality
The examination involves a variety of mental tasks, most of which are completed while sitting at a table. There are no painful or invasive procedures. Clinical evaluations often involve 2-3 hours of face-to-face contact, although this can vary significantly based on the reason for the tests and other factors. The examination can be scheduled in sessions of different duration and adjusted for patient endurance.
Neuropsychological tests can be important to:
- Confirm or clarify a diagnosis
- Provide a profile of strengths and weaknesses to guide rehabilitation, educational or vocational interventions, or other treatment
- Document effects of treatment and changes in function across examination
- Refer to other specialists such as educational therapists, cognitive rehabilitation professionals, neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, special education teachers, or vocational counselors
- Identify treatment options and strategies to enhance function
- Help both the patient and family to understand and cope with problems that led to examination and to access relevant services