When is someone evaluated by a neuropsychologist?

Neuropsychological evaluations are frequently recommended when patients experience problems involving concentration, thinking, memory or social skills. Cognitive, behavioral and social difficulties are seen most dramatically in patients following traumatic brain injuries and cerebrovascular accidents (“strokes”). In other cases, the problems can be mild and difficult to distinguish. Patients and their families often notice difficulties or changes in:

  • Personality and mood
  • Ability to concentrate
  • Memory
  • Learning
  • Organization
  • Reasoning
  • Perception
  • Speech and language skills
  • Coordination and sensory abilities
  • Social skills

Neuropsychological evaluations are highly sensitive to subtle brain-related difficulties. They are very useful in determining which areas of the brain have been affected by an injury, disorder, or disease and how it will impact the patient’s daily life. Neuropsychological evaluations are also powerful tools in treatment planning and for monitoring recovery from an injury, disorder, or disease.

In addition, some individuals seek neuropsychological evaluations to obtain a “baseline” of their current level of functioning and to get a better understanding of themselves and their unique personality and neurocognitive profile. Individuals can use this information to make themselves more effective at work and in their personal relationships, using their strengths to compensate for weaknesses.



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