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What Can I Expect During a Neuropsychological Evaluation?

May 01, 2024
What Can I Expect During a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
Knowledge and comprehension are essential to everything we do, and issues that affect it can make even basic mental functions harder. A neuropsychological evaluation can help reveal a lot about how well your mind works.

Our essential skills in gaining information and learning about the world around us as well as ourselves include language, paying attention, memory, perception, and thinking. These are all aspects of our cognition — without these and other basic mental skills, higher brain functions like imagination, planning, and learning are impossible. It is how we examine and observe the world and we do most of it without conscious effort.

There are many illnesses that can affect these basic mental skills, and to determine the possible issues with cognition and diagnose many of these issues, you may need to undergo a neuropsychological evaluation. If you’re going to have this assessment, you should learn what to expect from the process, so let’s help by exploring what this evaluation is, what conditions it can confirm, and what the experience is like.

If you live in the Norwood, Anderson, and Westside, Ohio, or Crestview Hills, Kentucky, area and you need to undergo this evaluation, the team of specialists at Riverhills Neuroscience can help.

Defining a neuropsychological evaluation

Neuropsychology is a method of examining the health of your brain, specifically in areas concerning thinking and behavior, and this evaluation helps to find out the functionality of your cognition, memory, motor skills, perception, problem solving, and verbal skills. It consists of memory, cognition, verbal communication, and motor skills tests, and may also test hearing and vision as it impacts your memory. This information, in addition to any data gathered from brain imaging, medical records, and other tests previously performed, helps to formulate some idea on the state of your brain’s health.

Illnesses it can diagnose

This method helps to assess any impairments in overall cognition and can help to determine a diagnosis for various mental illnesses and neurological issues, including:

  • Brain tumors: malignant or benign growths that can develop in the brain and affect how your brain functions in several different ways
  • Alzheimer’s disease: a common cause of dementia that affects thinking, learning, and organizational skills, often affecting people over 65
    • Dementia: a generic term for a range of conditions that affect reasoning, memory thought, and behavior that interfere with your daily activities and overall cognition
  • Traumatic brain injury: often the result of high impact to your head that leads to short- or long-term medical problems
  • Epilepsy: a condition of the brain where nerve cell dysfunction leads to seizures that can change sensations, awareness, behaviors, and muscle movement
  • Stroke: a life threatening condition that results from loss of blood flow to the brain
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS): damage to the protective cover on the nerves in your central nervous system that causes vision changes, muscle weakness, and memory issues
  • Parkinson’s disease: a degenerative brain condition that causes slower movement, tremors, and balance problems

The evaluation process

The evaluation process starts with an interview to gather information about your medical history, any screenings taken to gather data, and family history. The test itself is a written examination of cognitive skills, such as problem solving, mood, visuospatial skills, language, and memory in addition to the information mentioned above. Once done, the results will be reviewed with you to make any determinations about possible diagnosis, and with permission shared with any referring physicians.

Cognition is essential to everything we do, and if there’s any changes in memory, coordination, and other brain functions due to injury or illnesses, we are here to help. When you're ready for your evaluation, make an appointment with the medical professionals at Riverhills Neuroscience.