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.