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Descrption of a Neuropsychological Assessment

What is a Neuropsychological Assessment?
Neuropsychology is a specialty area of Professional Psychology, with a focus upon the study of brain-behavior relationships, cognitive, intellectual, emotional and behavioral functioning, and the understanding of effects of various diseases and injuries of the brain upon these domains through the use of specialized assessment measures. Neuropsychological assessment examines the cognitive, intellectual, emotional and behavioral functioning of individuals with known or suspected diseases and injuries of the brain and nervous system, as well as a host of other developmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.
How Does a Neuropsychological Assessment Work?
The Neuropsychological examination typically involves a comprehensive clinical interview, as well as an extensive series of specialized and carefully standardized psychometric assessment measures. These measures allow us to assess a variety of relevant domains that include (but not limited to) the following areas:
1. General intelligence
2. Attention and Speed of Information Processing
3. Learning and memory
4. Speech, language and communicative abilities
5. Visuospatial and visuoconstructive abilities
6. Executive, conceptual reasoning, and problem-solving capacities
7. Fine motor skills and manual dexterity
8. Basic academic skills
9. Emotional and behavioral functioning
Since each assessment that we conduct is unique to the individual's specific needs (and the nature of the referral questions that are asked), the nature of the assessment and the length of time that it will take to complete will vary on a case-by-case basis. In rare instances, only an interview is conducted. However, the majority of cases involve not only the clinical interview, but the comprehensive psychometric assessment process that typically runs an additional 6-10 hours in order to complete. While about half of the examinations that we conduct can be completed within a single full day, nearly half of our cases will need to return for a second (and rarely third) visit in order to complete the assessment process.
We make every attempt to conduct the examination in the primary language of the patient, and are fortunate to have several Associates who speak a variety of languages and come from differing ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Occasionally, we must rely upon a certified translator/interpreter in order to complete the examination process.

What Does A Neuropsychological Assessment Tell Me?
Depending upon the referral questions, Neuropsychological evaluations can be useful for many reasons, including:
1. Assistance with differential diagnosis 
2. A detailed assessment and profiling of cognitive strengths and weaknesses 
3. A broader understanding of underlying brain-cognition-behavioral relationships
    as they relate to day-to-day functioning 
4. Suggestions for treatment strategies and interventions 
5. Assessment of treatment effectiveness 
6. Repeated assessments to "chart" disease course, recovery or decline 
7. Assessment of the need for special accommodations in academic settings,
    workplace environments, and for examination procedures (such as SATs,
    college exams, professional licensing board exams, etc.) 
8. Assistance with academic placement and learning related interventions 9.
    Assessment of effort level and motivation to perform
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