There are a variety of reasons to consult with a neuropsychologist. Evaluations provide information about cognitive abilities which are compared to your age and education level. MRI, CAT, PET and SPECT tests do not always show abnormalities of the brain when brain damage is present. Many patients are referred to our offices with images of a normal brain and the absence of normal cognition. A neuropsychologist addresses the issues regarding brain behavior relationships which might include a variety of symptoms.
If you have had a recent or prolonged toxic exposure or a closed head injury with or without loss of conscienceness or whip lash, you might be on the look out for several signs that would indicate dysfunction:
A proper neuropsychological evaluation should always include review your medical history which includes a detailed questionaire, one or more psychological tests and several neuropsychological tests. This process is not a fast one and will take from five hours to sixteen hours to complete. These test are noninvasive and are not painful but can be especially taxing, draining and exhausting for an individual with an injured brain. We recommend proper rest before proceeding with any evaluation.
Neuropsychological results are quantitative and provide information which is in no way subjective but rather objective. These include object measures for precise comparisions of Memory Function, Abstract Reasoning, Spacial Processing, Reaction Time, Attention and Concentration, and Processing Speed and Accuracy. The discovery of subtle and complex changes relating to brain functions provides diagnostic information which can be applied to more accurate treatment prescriptions.