Caretaker for an Adult or Elderly Person
What are the kinds of symptoms that might lead someone to receive a referral for neuropsychological assessment?
Our evaluations can address a variety of questions and concerns. Examples of questions we regularly address include:
- Is this person experiencing problems with memory? If so, how severe are they?
- Could depression be interfering with this person's thinking skills?
- This person is experiencing numerous symptoms. What is the diagnosis that best explains why this person is behaving in a particular way?
- This patient has a number of medical conditions. Are those conditions affecting the way this person thinks and feels?
- Why does this person have trouble multi-tasking?
- Can this person make decisions regarding their estate? Medical care?
What are some of the questions that neuropsychological assessment can address?
Neuropsychological assessment can be used for the following diagnostic purposes:
- Diagnosing the nature and severity of disorders in which cognition is affected, such as Alzheimer's Disease, Vascular Dementia, traumatic brain injury, cardiovascular conditions, and stroke
- Differential diagnosis (e.g., depression versus dementia)
- Determination of functional outcomes, such as whether individuals have capacity to make various types of decisions, whether they can live independently, or whether they can drive
- Provides realistic picture of strengths and weaknesses
Are there medical disorders that may cause neuropsychological impairment?
Yes, these include, but are not limited to, Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, diabetes, cardiac conditions, stroke, neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, and chronic mental illness, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
How long will the evaluation take?
Neuropsychological assessment involves the administration of paper-and-pencil tests to evaluate various cognitive functions, such as attention, language, speed of information processing, frontal lobe functioning, and personality/emotional functioning. Moreover, it includes a clinical interview, the completion of a history form, and a collateral interview. For older individuals in a hospital setting, the procedure lasts around 30—120 minutes.
After the initial evaluation, follow-up appointments will be scheduled on an as-needed basis. The purpose of the follow-up appointments may include, but is not limited to, determining the efficacy of treatment, adjusting the medication regimen, and/or a revision of treatment goals. The treatment plan may consist of recommendations for medication management, psychotherapy, further psychodiagnostic assessment, or any combination of the preceding. A typical follow up is scheduled 9 to 12 months after the original evaluation; however, for patients undergoing acute rehabilitation, the follow-up evaluation is likely to occur sooner.
What should I bring with me to the appointment?
Please bring any paperwork that we have sent you (e.g., history form), as well as any relevant records (e.g., medical records, lab reports, legal materials) that may be helpful in the evaluation. Please make sure that you dress comfortably and that you bring a sweater to wear in case you get cold. Although we maintain a supply of beverages and snacks, you may also wish to bring your own to have during breaks.
Should I take my medication(s) on the day of the testing?
Consult with your clinician prior to your testing session to determine if you should take your medication on the evaluation days. Unless we make a specific request, do not deviate from your regular medication schedule.