A number of things can affect brain function. A head injury, a stroke, a viral infection, a tumour, epilepsy, or some other illness or condition affecting cognition. Everyday stress can also affect the way your brain processes information and it may be that there is nothing seriously wrong. A neuropsychological assessment will help determine whether any changes have occurred as a result of any of the above and what these changes may mean for a patient.
There are many different types of psychologists. Neuropsychologists have detailed knowledge of how the brain works and how brain injuries or illness may affect your everyday behaviour, thinking and personality.
The assessment will involve looking at a number of different brain functions including;
Some of the tasks are paper-and-pen exercises while others involve remembering things and solving puzzles. We will decide which tasks to give you based on your history, medical notes and discussion with others involved in your care.
You may feel that some of the tasks are not very relevant to your current difficulties, but each is designed to help us build a complete picture of your cognitive strengths and weaknesses
Neuropsychological assessments are considered non-invasive and do not require physical examination, drugs or injections. Some people may experience tiredness or fatigue afterwards.
A typical assessment takes 90-150 minutes but some sessions may be shorter or longer than this. The consultation starts with a chance to talk about symptoms and there will be breaks if needed. If it is helpful for us to speak to someone who knows you well and can give additional background information, they are welcome to attend the first few minutes of the consultation.
No special preparation is required for a Neuropsychological assessment, but any activities that are likely to leave you fatigued or tired on the day of assessment should be avoided.
There is no need to stop taking any prescribed medications but you should avoid alcohol or recreational drugs in the 24-hours before your appointment. If reading glasses are needed, they should be brought with you.
Following the assessment, the neuropsychologist interprets the test data and looks for patterns of findings that have diagnostic significance. A report documenting your cognitive strengths and weaknesses will be sent to the referring doctor or healthcare provider and you will receive verbal or written feedback on the assessment findings.
Recommendations for further evaluation and/or treatment may be made and the neuropsychologist may schedule a follow-up appointment to address any questions or concerns you may have. We may be able to provide you with tips and strategies to help you manage your symptoms better.