What is neuropsychology? Neuropsychology looks at how the health of your brain affects your thinking skills and behavior.
What is a neuropsychological evaluation? These tests look at:
Your ability to think, understand, learn, and remember (cognition)
Motor function (coordination, walking, etc.)
Perception (how well you take in what you see or read)
Problem-solving and decision-making
The tests are usually done with an iPad in Dr. Stein's office or at Hackensack Meridian Riverview Medical Center. Dr. Stein will also ask you a series of questions that you answer orally.
Neuropsychological tests are standardized, meaning that they are given in the same manner to all patients and scored in a similar manner time after time. An individual’s scores on tests are interpreted by comparing their score to that of healthy individuals of a similar demographic background (i.e., of similar age, education, gender, and/or ethnic background) and to expected levels of functioning. In this way, a neuropsychologist can determine whether one’s performance on any given task represents a strength or weakness.
When Do I Need This Kind Of Testing? You usually take a neurological test when you have a noticeable change in your thinking or memory. They help doctors figure out whether your problems are caused by any of the following:
Disease, such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Normal brain changes related to aging
Emotional disorders, such as depression or anxiety
Is there any way to prepare for a neuropsychological evaluation? These are not tests that one can study for, but there are several things that one can do to facilitate the evaluation:
The patient should bring a current list of ALL medications and doses
If the patient has difficulty providing information about their history, it is helpful for a family member or friend to accompany them (for at least part of the clinical interview).
It is helpful if the patient can provide records of previous neurodiagnostic testing (e.g., brain scans such as CT or MRI scans) and/or results from previous neuropsychological evaluations if completed at another hospital or institution.
Patients should not worry about whether they will “pass” the tests. The tests cannot be passed or failed; instead they describe how well a person performs relative to peers.
If you’re ever told you should undergo neuropsychological testing, understand that the tests are meant to get a picture of your brain health at this moment. Your thinking skills may get worse, or they may improve. When you and your doctor get more information about your brain now, you’ll both be able to make smarter decisions about your mental and physical health later.
Call Dr. Lawrence Stein today for a free 15 minute consultation to explore whether or not a neuropsychological evaluation is right for you. 732-747-8818 or complete the form below.