FAQ’s regarding the Neuropsychological Evaluation
What is a neuropsychological evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation tests areas of cognitive functioning, and may include tests of attention and concentration, memory, processing speed, visual spatial ability, reasoning and problem solving, language skills, intelligence and emotional functioning. The tests are a combination of paper and pencil type of tests and there may be tests taken on a computer.
Who should have a neuropsychological evaluation?
Neuropsychological evaluations are recommended for a variety of reasons. Below are some common examples:
- To help establish the reasons for memory loss (e.g. dementia, depression or other factors).
- To determine cognitive strengths and weaknesses and to make treatment recommendations for people with a neurologic conditions such as brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis etc…
- To assist with evaluation before and after a neurosurgical procedure and to help determine whether treatment has had any positive or negative effects on mental functions and behavior.
What will happen during the appointment?
Your appointment will begin with an interview that usually lasts about an hour. The interview is a time for you to speak with Dr. Spina, who will ask questions to obtain background information. You will be asked to describe your concerns and symptoms, and you can ask any questions that you may have. For testing, you will participate in a series of assessment activities. These may include tests of memory, concentration, reasoning, language processing speed, problem solving, and emotional functioning. People generally find some of the tasks quite easy, and other tasks to be challenging. Most people enjoy the activities and we will do our best to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
How long does a neuropsychological evaluation take?
Typically, the interview portion begins at 8:30AM. While most appointments conclude by 3:00PM – 4:00PM, each case is different and you may end at an earlier or later time.
During the day, you will have a chance to take breaks, including a lunch break. You are welcome to bring food with you, or you may purchase food at one of the nearby stores or restaurants.
What should I bring with me to the appointment?
- Please have your ID and medical insurance card with you.
- If you have reading glasses or hearing aids, make sure to bring these with you, otherwise your appointment may need to be rescheduled.
- Bring a current list of all medications, supplements and doses.
- If you have results from any previous neuropsychological evaluations, please bring those.
- It is often helpful (but not required) to have a family member or friend accompany you to help provide history or information for part of the clinical interview.
- Feel free to bring a sweater, beverage, or any other items that may make you feel more comfortable during your visit.
- There are options for purchasing food nearby, and you are also welcome to bring your own food.
How will I know what the results are?
Dr. Spina will schedule a follow-up appointment with you to discuss the results and recommendations. After the feedback appointment, a copy of the report will be mailed to you and will be sent to your referring physician.
How do I prepare for a neuropsychological evaluation?
These are not tests that one can study for and they are not “pass or fail” tests – instead they describe how well a person performs relative to peers.
Try to get a good night’s rest before the evaluation. You are encouraged not to consume any alcohol 24 hours prior to the evaluation.
Feel free to call our office for more information.