I Was Referred for a Neuropsychological Evaluation. What’s Next?

Saturday, April 12, 2014 @ 05:04 AM  posted by Dr. Siders

Your doctor referred you for neuropsychological testing so you can be evaluated by a specialist trained to get detailed measures of your brain functioning. There are several reasons why your doctor may want measures of your brain functioning:

  • To find and understand problems you have in brain functioning
  • For early detection of a condition affecting the brain (Many neuropsychological tests are designed to detect small weaknesses in brain functioning. This may allow for detection of conditions during the early stages of a debilitating disease)
  • For diagnosis (Some conditions that affect brain functioning have a distinct pattern of strengths and weaknesses on neuropsychological testing)
  • To obtain a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses
  • To document changes in brain functioning over time
  • To assess changes in brain functioning due to a treatment (Comparison of performance pre and post-treatment can help measure treatment effectiveness)
  • To make informed predictions about difficulties someone may have when resuming work, school, or other responsibilities and prepare for these difficulties in advance

Neuropsychological tests are not invasive. No wires or electrodes will be attached to you, you will not be hooked up to a machine, and no X-rays will be taken. Instead, most tests are completed with a pencil and paper.

Your brain functioning is measured by having you do things like memorize information, copy objects, provide the name of objects shown to you and many other tasks. The entire evaluation is very thorough and may take four to six hours to complete. However, frequent breaks are provided in order to make the experience relaxing and to minimize stress.

The goal of the testing is to get a measure of your brain functioning when you are at your best. Try to get plenty of sleep the night before testing. Go through your morning routine and eat a good breakfast. Since you will be testing for much of the day, wear comfortable clothing.

On the day of testing, if possible, you should bring medical records that will help provide information about your brain functioning. Examples include CT or MRI scans of your brain, neurological reports, psychological reports, or testing you may have done in the past. During the testing, it is best to try to relax. Also, you are not penalized for guessing, so always provide a response to any question, even if you are not sure of the answer.

We strive to provide you with thorough results and the best testing experience possible.

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