The Ohio State Neuropsychology Service is specialized in neuropsychological assessment of adults and geriatric patients with a range of conditions that can impact cognition, such as autoimmune, neurovascular, genetic and neurodevelopmental disorders, among many others.

The neuropsychologists at Ohio State work closely with other providers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute to promote positive patient outcomes by providing a transdisciplinary approach that emphasizes problem-solving to best assist our patients. This is done through regular communication between providers as well as through team meetings, research and training.

Referrals and Scheduling

What is required to make a referral?

Insurance companies require a physician referral in order to cover neuropsychological assessments. Insurance companies are more likely to provide coverage when the referral specifies the suspected nature and severity of the cognitive impairment. A good example of a referral is: This patient is experiencing significant memory changes. Please evaluate for dementia.

What is the referral and scheduling process?

If you are a provider within The Ohio State University system, a referral can be sent via the electronic medical record via Ambulatory Referral to Neuropsychology. Please specify Ohio State Harding Hospital for our service.

If you are a provider outside the Ohio State system, please fax a referral and recent medical records (including any diagnostic results, such as neuroimaging or lab results) to Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Central Scheduling at 614-293-1456.

Whom should I contact for questions about referrals or scheduling?

Questions may be directed to Mistii Zimmerman at 614-293-9600.

Our Services

What is clinical neuropsychology?

Clinical neuropsychology is a recognized doctoral-level specialty involving the assessment of cognitive, emotional and behavioral health in the context of a range of neurological, neuropsychiatric and medical conditions or pre/postsurgical or other interventions. Neuropsychology is defined by training that conforms to specialty-delineated standards across doctoral, residency and fellowship levels. This includes coursework, clinical training and research spanning psychology, behavior, and intervention and assessment techniques coupled with neuroscience, neurology, structural and functional neuroanatomy, neuroimaging and diagnostic techniques, and pharmacology.

What is a neuropsychological assessment?

Neuropsychological assessment involves the collection, interpretation and integration of objective and subjective test data collected through standardized measures and clinical interviews with the patient and/or caregiver(s). Test batteries are tailored to address your referral needs and may assess mental status, intellectual functioning, academic skills, language, memory, spatial/constructional ability, motor abilities, processing speed, attention/concentration, reasoning/problem-solving, mood and personality, and behavioral health. Our assessments are typically completed within one day, and a comprehensive report with detailed recommendations follows within about two weeks.

What are the benefits of a neuropsychology assessment?

Patients and their needs are not unidimensional. A neuropsychological assessment can help to inform or deepen the clarity of clinical conceptualization, treatment planning and case management. More specifically, a referral for neuropsychological assessment could aid with:

  • Differential Diagnosis. Neuropsychological assessment can help to determine the presence, nature and severity of neurocognitive dysfunction in light of the patient’s emotional functioning, behavioral health and social contexts. 
  • Clinical Correlation. Neuropsychological assessment can provide clinical data that can be considered against the findings of other neurodiagnostic studies requested by the treating physician. Neuropsychological test results can be more sensitive than neuroimaging results in some cases and map more readily onto everyday functioning.
  • Longitudinal Monitoring. An initial assessment is helpful to establish a patient’s baseline, with repeat evaluation being helpful in identifying changes in cognitive, emotional and behavioral health over time. This type of evaluation process is most helpful for medical conditions commonly associated with progressive cognitive decline (e.g., multiple sclerosis).
  • Care Planning. Neuropsychological assessment reports can include detailed recommendations to guide decision-making, disability determination and identification of pertinent accommodations/resources for treatment, academic, occupational and other domains when relevant. This includes the determination of capacity for independent functioning in daily living, school and work.

Our Providers

What is the expertise of the neuropsychologists in the Ohio State Neuropsychology Service?

Guided by the most up-to-date knowledge on clinical and scholarly best practices, our team of neuropsychologists represents a breadth and depth of knowledge. They have all completed doctoral and residency training at national institutions accredited by the American Psychological Association as well as two-year fellowships in clinical neuropsychology through member programs of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology.

Erica Dawson, PhD, ABPP-CN
PhD, University of Cincinnati
Residency, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Fellowship, University of Michigan/VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System

Laura Boxley, PhD, ABPP-CN
PhD, Loma Linda University
Residency, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Fellowship, University of Michigan/VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System

Christopher M. Nguyen, PhD
PhD, University of Iowa
Residency, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Fellowship, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center 

Darrin M. Aase, PhD, ABPP-CN
PhD, DePaul University
Residency, Oak Forest Hospital of Cook County
Fellowship, Loyola University Medical Center

Samantha Stern, PhD
PhD, Illinois Institute of Technology
Residency, University of Washington
Fellowship, University of Illinois at Chicago

Additional Services Available

Our service is part of The Ohio State University Section of Neurobehavioral Health, a transdisciplinary clinical program designed to meet the unique, multifaceted needs of our patients and their families. While not all services in our clinic will be appropriate for every patient, our program fosters integrated and collaborative care. Additional services include:

  • Individual Psychotherapy. Individual psychotherapy is typically geared toward finding solutions to help individuals cope with life stressors. Areas of potential clinical focus include emotional processing, coping with chronic illness, behavioral health promotion, treatment adherence and cognitive compensation. Therapies utilized in our section are supported by research and include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy and others.
  • Group Psychoeducation. Group-based psychoeducation will soon be available. Topics in development include brain health promotion, coping with chronic illness and caregiver support.
  • Neuropsychiatry. A primary goal of neuropsychiatry is to provide medication management for psychiatric symptoms (e.g., anxiety, depression, hallucinations) that can occur in the context of neurologic conditions.

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