Randi Most, Ph.D., ABN
Board Certified Neuropsychologist
What is a neuropsychological Evaluation?
Neuropsychological assessment focuses on the measurement of cognition and behavior including examining the effects of any brain injury or neurological disorder (such as astroke, seizure disorder, multiple sclerosis or dementia) that a person may experience. A core part of neuropsychological assessment is the administration of tests for the formal assessment of cognitive functioning. Aspects of cognitive functioning that are assessed typically include orientation, new-learning/memory, intelligence, language, visual skills (such as perception and spatial organization) and executive-functioning (such as problem solving, abstract reasoning and sequencing). However, clinical neuropsychological assessment is more than this and also takes into account a person's psychological, personal, social and educational circumstances. Clinical evaluation helps us to understand the pattern of cognitive strengths as well as any difficulties a person may have and to aid decision making for use in a medical, rehabilitation, or home environment.
What is the purpose of having one?
There are three broad goals of clinical neuropsychological assessment. First, diagnosis to determine the nature of the underlying problem. Second, to understand the nature of any brain injury or resulting cognitive problem and its impact on the individual as a means of devising a treatment program or offering advice as to an individual's ability to carry out a certain tasks such as fitness to drive, returning to work, or functioning in school. And last, assessments may be undertaken to measure change in functioning over time such as to determine the consequences of a surgical procedure or the impact of medication or cognitive/ behavioral therapy over time.
How long does it take?
Anywhere from 3 to 6 hours, depending on the person's age and the referral question. The results will be available in about a week. You can discuss your results with your referring physician or return to see Dr. Most and she will go over them with you in detail.
Are the tests invasive?
No. There are no needles or wires involved. All of the tests are performed at a table or on the computer.
Will insurance cover my neuropsychological exam?
In most cases, yes. Your evaluation will be covered under the major medical portion of your insurance. Depending on your policy, some specific diagnoses and types of testing may not be covered. As a courtesy, your coverage and co-pay requirements will be verified and provided to you before your visit.