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Neuropsychological Evaluations

Deborah O. Day, Psy.D - Monday, August 18, 2014

Neuropsychology is a field of study that looks at the relationship between your brain and your behavior. Specialists in neuropsychology assess and treat patients with brain injuries or diseases, and have a deeper understanding of neuroanatomy. A neuropsychological evaluation is an official evaluation of a person’s mood, personality and cognitive ability. These evaluations are officiated by an Orlando neuropsychologist, and will test aspects of cognition such as memory, concentration, and problem solving. Neuropsychological evaluations typically involve a preliminary interview with the patients, and then a few standardized tests. The administered tests can be based on self-reported responses, or completed by a psychometrist. The test scores, when determined, are compared to the scores of a healthy person from the same demographic. Age, education, gender, and ethnicity are all important factors that need to be identified. Through this method, the neuropsychologist can analyze a patient’s results and become aware of the patient’s specific strengths and weaknesses. Specialists look at a comprehensive set of data in order to identify patterns and understand brain function. Complete evaluations usually take between two and five hours, although some can occur for up to eight hours if the issues are very complex, or if the patient is overly fatigued and not compliant. If this is the case, the neuropsychologist may delay the tests in order to allow the patient to have their optimal performance level evaluated. When someone suffers from a brain injury or a disorder involving psychiatric or movement abnormalities, they may experience changes in mood, thinking skill, or personality that can be either dramatic or subtle. Although these changes may be indicative of the underlying neural injury or abnormality, they can also be indicative of side effects from different treatments. 

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