When is a neuropsychological evaluation in your best interest?
Clinical neuropsychology focuses on how behavior and skills are related to brain structures and systems. The neuropsychological evaluation objectively tests memory and thinking skills. A pattern of strengths and weaknesses is used for diagnosis and treatment planning. This testing is helpful in understanding whether behavioral changes are due to any number of medical, neurological, psychological or genetic causes.
Some examples of when a neuropsychological evaluation is recommended include when:
You have sustained a traumatic brain injury.
You have been diagnosed with an acquired brain injury.
There is a large disparity between your effort and how you are performing at work.
You experience difficulties with learning or memory.
It is unclear why you are struggling with routine activities of daily living.
You have a history of neurological difficulty (due to e.g., epilepsy or Lyme’s Disease).
You have a history of developmental delay (e.g., delayed language or motor skills).
You have suffered any toxic exposure (e.g., lead poisoning, alcohol).
You wish to document any changes in your brain functions prior to brain surgery.
You are experiencing attention or focus difficulties.
You have noticed any neuromotor changes (e.g., difficulty walking, coordination, falling).
What does a neuropsychological evaluation consist of?
A typical neuropsychological evaluation will involve assessment of general intellect, executive skills (sequencing, reasoning, problem solving), concentration, memory, language, perception, motor skills and personality.
Initial Intake Session: A complete history and understanding is gained during this 60-90 minute session.
Evaluation: If an evaluation is determined to be in your best interest, evaluation sessions are scheduled. The actual evaluation typically takes several hours and may spread across several sessions. The assessment is very interactive and involves paper and pencil tasks, hands-on activities, answering questions, and sometimes using a computer.
Feedback Session: Approximately two to four weeks after the last testing session, a feedback session is scheduled during which test results are explained, what these results mean conceptually and diagnostically is discussed, and, most importantly, the recommendations or care plans are provided.
Report: A comprehensive written report follows the feedback session that sets forth your test results and corresponding diagnostic findings, along with a detailed set of recommendations as to how your individual needs will best be met.
What does a neuropsychological evaluation tell me?
Your test scores will be compared to scores from people who are like you in important ways. By using standardized database scores, your scores will be assessed against people with a similar age and educational background. The pattern of scores will be reviewed to determine your indivivdual strengths and weaknesses.
What are the benefits of a neuropsychological evaluation?
Test results may be used to understand your situation in a number of ways. Testing might be used to identify problems related to medical conditions (e.g., stroke, tumor, multiple sclerosis, infectious diseases, alcoholism). Test results may be used to differentiate among illnesses to direct treatment (e.g., Alzheimers disease, vascular dementia, mild cognitive impairment and depression). These results when used in conjunction with brain imaging and blood tests will afford the most informed diagnosis possible.
Evaluation results play an important role in identifying target problems in order to plan appropriate treatments to compensate for weaknesses. Studies have shown how scores relate to everyday functional skills, such as money management, driving or readiness to return to work. This will assist all of your medical providers in guiding your plans for assistance or treatment.
What insurance do you accept and what is the cost of a neuropsychological evaluation?
Dr. McKeon is only in network with Medicare, but also works with patients using their out of network benefits. Our office will assist you with finding your coverage for services and with filing claims to your insurance company. With regard to specific fees, each situation is unique and Dr. McKeon tailors her services and fees accordingly to meet each patient’s needs.