For more than 20 years, the physicians and healthcare providers at Riverhills Neuroscience have recognized the inseparable link between medical care and mental health care. Behavioral factors can have a significant impact on treatment outcomes. Clinical science is continually enhancing our understanding of the role behavioral, psychological, sociological, and environmental factors play in daily practices, and how these elements influence overall health and well-being. Beliefs, emotions, behaviors, thoughts, family and cultural systems are all as relevant to health as genetic inheritance and physiology.
In addition, objective assessment in the form of psychological and neuropsychological testing assists in treatment planning for mental health problems, for neurological conditions that may be associated with diminished memory and cognitive ability (e.g., traumatic brain injury, dementia, stroke, epilepsy, MS, etc.), and for a wide range of medical problems for which psychological well-being has been shown to be relevant to recovery (e.g., cancer, sleep disturbances, chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease, etc.).
At Riverhills Neuroscience, we measure memory through a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation in order to ensure accurate medical diagnoses, and the most effective treatment plans possible. A neuropsychological evaluation is particularly useful for tracking progress in rehabilitation after brain injury or other neurological disease and can assist greatly in educational and vocational planning.
Riverhills Neuroscience is dedicated to providing the highest level of behavioral and emotional assessments. We welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with your physician to design a plan of wellness that works for you!
Behavioral Medicine Specialists
A neuropsychological evaluation provides a comprehensive assessment of patients in whom impairments of cognitive or neuropsychiatric functioning are evident or suspected. Assessment involves a systematic evaluation of higher cognitive abilities in order to identify possible problems with brain functioning, help lead to a diagnosis, define strengths and weaknesses, and make treatment recommendations.
A wide range of conditions may affect neuropsychological functioning, such as:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neurological conditions including stroke, epilepsy, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
- Medical conditions such as liver disease, Lupus, HIV infection, or cardiac disease
- Learning and Developmental Disorders
- Attention-Deficit Disorders (ADHD, aka ADD)
- Various psychiatric conditions
- Suspected memory problems or dementia
- A neuropsychological evaluation may contribute to decisions about:
- Prognosis and disposition planning
- Rehabilitation issues
- Ability to return to work
- Ability to function independently
- Tracking of changes in functioning over time
- Educational and vocational planning
The types of tests that you will take depend upon the questions you and your doctor have. The tests may assess the following areas: attention and memory, reasoning and problem-solving, visual-spatial functions, language functions, sensory-perceptual functions, motor functions, academic skills, and emotional functioning.
The tests are not invasive; that is, they do not involve attaching you to machines or using X-rays. Most of the tests will involve answering questions, solving problems, drawing, or working with materials on a table. Some tests may use a computer and others may ask you to fill out forms and questionnaires. The testing may be performed by the neuropsychologist or by a trained staff member. The neuropsychologist or a staff member will also spend some time talking with you and your family about your medical, personal, and school history. The total time involved in your evaluation will depend upon the questions you and your doctor have. If you wear glasses or hearing aids, make sure to bring them with you. Also, if you have had previous testing, please bring any available records with you to the evaluation.
A neuropsychological evaluation involves testing that is sensitive to problems in brain functioning. Unlike CT or MRI scans, which show what the structure of the brain looks like, neuropsychological testing examines how well the brain is working when it performs certain functions (for example, remembering). These functions or tasks form the necessary building blocks of successful living in the individual’s daily life. Impairment in many of these functions may exist because of brain abnormalities that cannot be detected on CT or MRI scans. Therefore, neuropsychological assessment is a procedure with a unique purpose; it can be used to reveal or diagnose brain dysfunction when no structural brain abnormalities can be seen. Furthermore, when structural abnormalities have been found, neuropsychological assessment provides a way to determine what functions may be impaired because of the structural defects, and to determine the degree to which they may be impaired.
The neuropsychologist may schedule an appointment to go over the results with you and/or may send you a written report. With your permission, the neuropsychologist may send the results to the doctor or healthcare provider who referred you. This doctor may talk to you about the results of testing on your next office visit. If requested, the neuropsychologist will give you specific recommendations to guide your treatment or otherwise help you in your daily life.