WHY WOULD I OR MY LOVED ONE NEED A NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION?
There are many reasons but some of the most common are changes in short-term memory, frequently losing items, getting lost easily, confusion, changes in attention and concentration, word finding ability, a change in visuospatial skills including difficulty drawing or using a map, changes in judgement or decision-making, an unexplained change in personality, increase in anxiety or depression, or development of delusions or hallucinations, difficulty with working memory, or inability to use the adaptive living skills needed to manage everyday life.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CONDITIONS THAT CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THESE CHANGES?
Again there are many conditions that warrant a neuropsychological evaluation however some of the most common are Traumatic Brain Injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders, Transient ischemic attack and stroke, Multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, infections of the brain and spinal cord, auto-immune disorders, Lyme’s Disease, and epilepsy. Many non-neurologic conditions and their treatments can also affect cognitive function, particularly when they are advanced or severe. Some include diseases of the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, digestive system, and endocrine systems, as well as some cancers. .
WHAT IS ASSESSED IN A NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL EXAM?
Our neuropsychological assessment includes a test of general intellect, an attention and concentration measure, a measure of executive function, a visual spatial assessment, a memory assessment, a speed of processing assessment, and a language functioning assessment. The testing is very comprehensive in order to best help your clinicians to better understand your current level of functioning and what parts of your brain may be affected by your condition.
WHY WOULD MY DOCTOR REQUEST A NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT?
A neuropsychological assessment can be requested for a number of reasons including to help with diagnosis, to determine cognitive strengths and weaknesses, to establish a baseline, to monitor progress, or to help plan a treatment or other intervention
HOW WILL I KNOW IF MY COGNITIVE ABILITIES HAVE CHANGED IF I HAVE NOT HAD BASELINE TESTING?
This is a limitation of the testing but better to get a baseline now then to wait any longer. Some cognitive abilities tend to be very stable despite neurologic illnesses or injuries. There are also patterns of results that are associated with various illnesses or injuries that can help in finding the proper diagnosis.
WHAT IS THE COST OF TESTING?
That depends. If you have insurance, testing may be paid partially or in full by your insurance carrier. Kelly can give you that information when you call her at 561-769-9437. If you are paying privately the initial and follow-up sessions are 150 dollars and the testing is 1000 dollars unless extended testing is required. Kelly can discuss that with you when you give her a call.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
The first step is to give us a call at 561-769-9437 and set up an initial consultation, a date for the evaluation, and a follow-up appointment. If you have insurance, we will run your insurance and let you know if they will cover the testing and how much your patient responsibility is. Kelly our testing coordinator and behavioral specialist will send you paperwork through our portal for you to fill out. Some of it is just the typical paperwork and some of the forms ask more about the current symptoms you or your loved one are exhibiting. If you are helping a loved one please be sure to be part of this process and if the assessment is for you we suggest that you involve a loved one in the initial and follow-up sessions, and have them assist you with paperwork as needed.
On our initial call we will discuss your concerns and I will gather the information I need to decide what tests should be utilized and what specific symptoms we are looking for. If you have prior paperwork from your doctor or prior assessments, please let me know so I can get a copy of them prior to the assessment.
The testing appointment can be done in your home but if location or mobility are issues we can do the testing through Zoom. The testing usually takes between 3 and 5 hours depending on the age and the number of tests that need to be administered.
At the follow-up appointment we will discuss the results and you will receive a follow-up report that can be shared with your other medical providers, schools, and workplaces.
WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE FOR THE NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL EXAMINATION?
There is not much to do but try your best to get a good night’s sleep, to eat your breakfast, and to take all of your medications. Wear comfortable clothes and have a drink and snacks available. If you use glasses, contact lenses, or hearing aids, make sure you have them with you.