The Memory Disorders Clinic offers a full-range of clinical diagnostics for the detection and characterization of memory disorders and associated conditions. Neuropsychological evaluation is a specialized set of diagnostics that allow our clinical team to best judge how well or poorly a person may be performing relative to his/her peers on a whole range of cognitive tasks.
Comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation services are offered by Dr. Kathleen Welsh-Bohmer at the Memory Disorders Clinic.
A neuropsychological evaluation can help identify changes in attention, memory, reasoning, language, and perception caused by neurological, psychiatric, or general medical conditions. Testing is an objective method to determine if a diagnosed or suspected medical, psychiatric or neurological condition has affected a person's thinking. The results from a neuropsychological evaluation may be used to contribute to a physician’s diagnosis and medical management of the patient and to establish a record of cognitive abilities for comparison with subsequent testing (i.e., establishing a cognitive "baseline").
A neuropsychological examination routinely consists of a diagnostic interview with a neuropsychologist and a series of paper and pencil tests of thinking skills, memory, perception, and motor abilities. The evaluation typically takes 3 to 4 hours to complete, but in certain circumstances may take longer depending upon the medical condition or general disposition of the patient. Depression, anxiety, and other changes in mood can sometimes create problems with memory and attention so Memory Disorders Clinic doctors will also ask questions about a person's mood state.
If you are referred for neuropsychological evaluation, there is no need to prepare for the procedure. During the evaluation, Memory Disorders Clinic neuropsychologists and psychometricians will check your vision, speech, thinking, concentration, and memory. Some tests will be very easy and straightforward while others may be more challenging or complex.
Every individual shows strengths and weaknesses during an evaluation. This is normal. The best preparation for an evaluation is rest and relaxation.
What should a person bring to a neuropsychological evaluation?
Neuropsychological evaluation results are provided to the referring physician and feedback is given to the patient. Memory Disorders Clinic neuropsychologists typically provide a mailed summary letter and/or an in-person or phone feedback session with the patient to review evaluation results. In addition, the referring physician will receive the evaluation results, and he or she will report these findings to the patient in the context of other medical tests and studies.
- Glasses, contact lenses, and/or hearing aids, if you use them.
- Prescription medications needed during the day and a list of all medications (both prescription and over-the-counter).
- An accompanying spouse, partner, or family member is also helpful. Observations from others can help the neuropsychologist understand the nature of a patient's difficulties.
Neuropsychological evaluation results are strictly confidential. Distribution of a neuropsychological evaluation report to individuals other than the referring doctor or patient requires a signed release of information.
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