Neuropsychological testing is a form of specialized psychological evaluation that provides insight into how different areas and systems of the brain are working. The test examines various aspects of cognitive functioning, including intellectual processing, reasoning, problem solving, concentration, language skills, mood, and personality. Neuropsychological testing is thorough and can detect memory and cognitive problems that might not otherwise be apparent. It can enable you to better understand yourself, and can be used by doctors and psychologists to guide treatment plans.
What is the Purpose of Neuropsychological Testing?
Neuropsychological testing is designed to diagnose and treat cognitive and memory-related problems. It can help your doctors determine whether changes in memory or thinking signal a deeper issue, and what that issue might be. Testing can also uncover medical conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, dementia, and diabetes, as well as learning disorders. Test results will also shed light on your strengths, and can therefore empower you to use your own gifts to overcome weaknesses. Ultimately, testing is used to guide treatment and support your health and well being.
What Happens in During the Test?
The process begins with an initial intake interview, and is followed by the testing session at a later date. The evaluation normally takes two to four hours to complete, and includes a combination of written and oral tests, problem solving activities, and puzzles. After the test, the neuropsychologist scores the data, evaluates and interprets the results, and writes a full report with findings and recommendations. This usually takes a few weeks, after which time you will meet for a final appointment to discuss the result and consider the next steps in treatment.
Should I Be Tested?
People may seek a neuropsychological evaluation for various reasons. You may be referred for testing by a physician who needs more information to determine how your brain is working, or you may decide to undergo testing to better understand your strengths and weaknesses. Some people use neuropsychological evaluation to determine whether or not they have a learning disorder or ADHD. Whatever your reason for getting tested, the assessment will help you and your health care providers understand your brain functioning and determine treatment plans for particular issues.