Dr. Karen Lindgren, Chief Clinical Officer at Bancroft NeuroRehab, demystifies the Neuropsychological Evaluation process.

What is a neuropsychological evaluation?

A neuropsychological evaluation is a snapshot of your cognitive functioning. We use the results to provide diagnostic information to the physician as well as create a customized, comprehensive treatment plan.

A proper evaluation is an important diagnostic tool. Sometimes the reason for cognitive changes are obvious – a person’s had a brain injury or they’ve have a concussion and you’re are trying to understand if cognition has changed as well.

What advice would you give to families seeking a neuropsychological evaluation for a loved one?

I recommend families talk to their physicians about whether a  neuropsychological evaluation is appropriate when they have concerns about a loved one’s cognition. If they see changes in memory, judgement or planning and initiation – anything they noticed has changed. It’s really important for families to seek a proper evaluation early in the process, before condition worsens.

Where is a neuropsychological evaluation administered?

A Neuropsychological evaluation is typically administered in an office, with a neuropsychologist or with a clinician known as a psychometrician, who works closely with the neuropsychologist.

What can families expect when seeking a neuropsychological evaluation?

Families will typically participate in an interview with their loved one and then leave the loved one with clinical staff for the testing process. Once a neuropsychological evaluation is completed, the neuropsychologist review comprehensive test results with the patient and family.

What information can we learn from a neuropsychological evaluation?

A proper neuropsychological evaluation reveals preserved cognitive strengths and areas of weakness or deficit. The goal is to develop a comprehensive treatment plan so that a person uses their areas of strength to compensate for the areas of weakness after evaluation and treatment.