What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?

A Neuropsychological Evaluation involves testing that is sensitive to problems in brain functioning. Unlike CT or MRI scans, which show what the brain looks like, neuropsychological evaluation takes the brain on a “test drive.” In other words, neuropsychological testing examines how well your brain can perform certain activities, such as memory and thinking of the right words. The types of tests included in your evaluation will depend on what you and your doctor want to know about your brain functioning. Typical areas assessed during a neuropsychological evaluation include:

• Memory
• Attention
• Reasoning & Problem Solving
• IQ
• Visuospatial Functioning
• Language
• Sensation & Perception
• Motor Functioning
• Academic Skills
• Social & Emotional Functioning

These tests are not invasive; that is, we do not hook you up to machines or take labs. Most of the tests involve questions and answers or working with materials on a table. Some tests may use a computer. You will also talk to one of the doctors about your medical, personal, and school history. The total time involved in your evaluation depends on the questions you and your doctor have. A typical evaluation usually lasts several hours to a full day.

What Happens After the Evaluation?

After the evaluation, the neuropsychologist will schedule an appointment with you to review your results. You will receive a written copy of your report to keep for your records. You should always keep a copy of this report. In your report, the neuropsychologist will make recommendations to guide your treatment and to help you in your daily life. With your permission, the neuropsychologist will send your results to the doctor or healthcare provider who referred you for the evaluation. Additionally, you can request a copy of the report to be sent to other members of your treatment team. Your doctor will probably talk to you about the results of your testing during your next office visit. The neuropsychologist will keep your file and a copy of your report for at least 7 years.