What Happens During a Neuropsychological Assessment?
A neuropsychological evaluation is typically carried out when an individual shows evidence of memory loss or cognitive dysfunction. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, about one out of every five American adults has some form of mental illness. A neuropsychological evaluation can help people with various psychological disorders with diagnostic accuracy. Here’s what you can expect from this type of evaluation.
Prior to the Appointment
Before a neuropsychological assessment begins, your practitioner will review any available medical records. Some reviewed records include lab work, prior diagnostic testing, medication records, and prior treatment records. The practitioner completes this record review to better understand your health history. Often, medical records contain valuable information that they can use in forming a treatment plan. You should also bring someone who is familiar with your condition to your appointment with you. This person can provide valuable insight into your mental health.
Next in the evaluation is an interview with you and the person you have brought to your appointment. The practitioner will ask both of you specific questions to understand you and your behaviors better. The interview portion of the evaluation is casual, and there are no right or wrong answers. Interviewing is how the provider learns more about you and can assess how you feel about your situation.
Next, the practitioner will conduct a memory test. They may give you multiple options for how you want to take this test. It may be done orally, with paper and pencil, or as an automated test on a computer or tablet. You may also need to complete a variety of other tests, such as visuospatial testing, problem-solving testing, learning testing, attention testing, and language testing. This comprehensive testing is used to ensure an accurate diagnosis and helps the practitioner get a baseline for anyone who has experienced a stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, or other memory problems.
End of the Appointment
A neurological assessment usually takes a few hours to complete. When you leave your appointment, the practitioner will evaluate all the data they have gathered and use it to design a treatment plan. This is the first step toward helping you achieve your goals for better psychological health.
If you or someone you love is struggling with memory or cognitive function, they may benefit from a neuropsychological assessment. Contact Elements Psychological Services today to learn more about how we can help.