A Neuropsychological assessment examines brain functioning through measures of behaviour and ability. A Neuropsychological assessment is often requested after a person has sustained a head trauma resulting in a brain injury. There are no invasive procedures. Testing is done through verbal questioning, paper and pencil or computer tasks, and examination of movement and perception. Neuropsychological assessments can often detect subtle cognitive difficulties, even when there are no clear signs from imaging or other diagnostic methods, and can help differentiate psychiatric from neurological illnesses.
A Neuropsychological assessment can help anyone having difficulty with memory and learning, attention, language, judgment, organization, or visuospatial abilities, particularly if they have neurological risk factors, such as:
- History of head injury or concussion
- Stroke or transient ischemic attacks
- Attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder
- Developmental or genetic conditions
- Heart, lung, or cardiovascular conditions
- Suspected Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementia
- Encephalopathy from inflammation or infection
- Other surgeries, particularly those with risk of hypoxia or embolism, such as cardiovascular surgery
- Eating disorders
- Chronic alcohol or drug use
- Chronic use of medications such as corticosteroids, benzodiazepines, or antihypertensives
- Exposure to industrial or environmental toxins
- Other medical conditions which might affect brain functioning, such as diabetes, anemia, multiple sclerosis, kidney or liver failure, HIV infection, or drug overdose.
A Neuropsychological assessment can help clarify diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment options. Identifying a person’s pattern of cognitive strengths and weaknesses can be very useful in managing difficulties, developing compensatory strategies, informing choices for school or work, and improving communication and interpersonal relations.
In an insurance or medico-legal context, a Neuropsychological assessment can help determine degree of injury and causality, and any limitations and restrictions resultant from the injury.
At WCPS, Neuropsychological assessments are conducted by Registered Psychologists who have specialized training in neuropsychology, and many years of experience in the field.