Neuropsychological assessment is a performance-based method to assess cognitive functioning. This method is used to examine the cognitive consequences of brain damage, brain disease, and severe mental illness. Our Neuropsychology program specializes in the relationship between the brain and cognitive, emotional and behavioral functioning and offers neuropsychological assessments to assist providers with diagnosis, treatment planning and ongoing monitoring of a patient’s cognitive status. Jade utilizes a standardized battery of testing to assess patient’s cognitive abilities, including attention, memory and executive functioning (e.g., planning, organizing and problem-solving) as well as linguistic, visuo-perceptual, motor and sensory skills, and their psychological state.
What Does a Neuropsychological Assessment Accomplish?
A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment is the only way to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the functional deficits of neurological patients, including those suffering from stroke, traumatic brain injury, dementia, epilepsy, and brain tumors, among others (McKhann et al., 1984; Roman et al., 1993; Leon-Carrion, ibidem; Martelli et al., 2006). Additionally, the American Academy of Neurology has rated neuropsychological testing as “Established” with Class II evidence and a Type A recommendation and having ICD diagnoses (National Academy of Neuropsychology, 1996).
Goals of a Neuropsychological Assessment
Their are four main objectives of a neurpsychological assessment: understand the nature of any cognitive or behavioral problems produced by a brain injury, diagnosis any underlying neurological problem, monitor cognitive function and changes over time, and explain changes to an individual’s cognitive actions.
When Neuropsychological Testing is Useful
In any situation where an injury or illness has the potential to negatively impact cognitive functioning, a neuropsychological assessment may be useful. This includes traumatic brain injuries, illnesses and treatment including cancer, and testing to determine mental deficiencies in children.
Ann Helmus, the founder of Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents (NESCA), effectively explains how neuropsychological testing can help identify underlying problems children may be having:
“A quality comprehensive assessment can sort out between these possibilities by interpreting the test results in the context of the child’s history and through close attention to how the child performs on each test. For example, does the child misread the word because he/she is being hasty—sees the word ‘party’ and immediately says ‘pretty—or is the child painstakingly trying to sound out the word and clearly doesn’t know rules of phonics? Impulsively responding to target words would be more typical of a child with ADHD, while poor phonetic decoding skills would lead one to pursue more vigorously the possibility that the child has a learning disability.”
Mental disorders affect the whole family.
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