What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation (NPE) is an assessment of your cognitive and behavioral functions through standardized tests and procedures. Neuropsychologists can gather information about your cognitive, behavioral, linguistic, motor, and executive functioning through a neuropsychological evaluation.
NPEs are conducted by psychologists who have been specially trained and have experience in the field. Types of training received include psychology, neuropsychology, brain-behavior relationships, and neuropsychological assessments.
How to Know When You Need a Neuropsychological Evaluation
If you or a healthcare professional suspect you or your child has impaired cognitive function or behavior, then it’s a good idea to seek a neuropsychological evaluation to determine if there are cognitive processes associated with the impairment and the extent of said impairment. Examples of conditions that are often tested for neuropsychological evaluations are:
- Asperger’s syndrome
- Seizure disorders
- Effects of toxic chemicals
- Chronic substance abuse
- Developmental learning disabilities
- Attention deficit disorders
- Medical illness or treatments
- Traumatic brain injury
- Psychiatric or neuropsychiatric disorders
- Memory disorders
Neuropsychological Evaluations Depend on the Patient
The Process of a Typical Neuropsychological Exam
Although BES can’t tell you specifically what tests you or your child will need, we can give you an idea of the typical neuropsychological exam. It usually involves the patient completing tasks while sitting at a table. None of the procedures are painful or invasive. An evaluation typically takes 4-6 hours, but it can be spread out among different appointments if that works best for your schedule.
At the end of the neuropsychological evaluation, the psychologist will give you a 45-55 minute briefing in which the results are summarized and explained. After going over the results with you, the psychologist prepares a report that you can show to a school, physician, or other professional. You can request additional consultation if desired.
What Neuropsychological Evaluations Can Be Used For?
A neuropsychological evaluation can be used to confirm a diagnosis, guide rehabilitation, determine which compensatory strategies are beneficial, and document functional changes since previous examinations. The psychologist may refer you to another healthcare professional after the neuropsychological evaluation. You may be referred to:
- A neurologist
- An educational therapist
- A psychiatrist
- A cognitive rehabilitation professional
- Individual, Group, & Family Therapy