Neuropsychology Testing Basics
What to Expect
Most people have no idea what to expect when their doctor, or other health care provider, recommends that they participate in a neuropsychological assessment. The information below should help give you a better idea of what it’s all about.
Why Do We Test?
The purpose of a neuropsychological test is to get a detailed, in-depth look at how the brain is functioning in multiple areas of thinking, learning, and memory. While getting pictures of the brain will give information about the physical well-being of the brain – it doesn’t give us the information about how the brain is working. Getting more detailed information about how the brain is functioning in “real life” situations can sometimes help physicians with tricky diagnoses and can be the first step in identifying strategies to help minimize difficulties in thinking that a person may be experiencing. Also, neuropsychological testing results are sometimes used as a baseline for purposes of monitoring progressive changes in a person’s thinking and/or memory over time.
Before Testing Day
- Medical provider or concerned party identifies a need for more information regarding an individual’s learning, thinking, or memory
- Referral is made to our office
- Our office will verify insurance and obtain any additional information that may be necessary
- Our office then schedules an appointment for the evaluation
- Paperwork may be sent prior to the appointment to facilitate planning for, and conducting the evaluation
- We will place a reminder call a day or so before the test day and answer any questions you may have
- Evaluations are typically scheduled for a full day (9:00 – 4:00) although you may be done earlier.
- Short breaks and a lunch break are worked in to the schedule as needed
- The patient will interview with the neuropsychologist to discuss symptoms, concerns, and background. The patient’s spouse or family members may be present during this time to give additional information.
- A set of individualized standardized tests will be administered by a testing technician or psychologist
- After the testing is completed, tests are scored
- Test performance, history, and background information is considered and a report is prepared by the neuropsychologist
- The final report is usually completed one to three weeks following the testing day
- Follow-up and discussion with the neuropsychologist about the results and recommendations is available
- The written report is provided to the referring physician and other parties, as appropriate
- We will keep a copy of the report in our archives for future reference