A neuropsychological assessment is a structured and standardized assessment measuring cognitive function. Cognitive function includes general intelligence, learning, memory, attention, concentration, language abilities, visual-spatial abilities, problem-solving, judgment, and mental flexibility. Mood and personality functioning are also measured. Neuropsychological assessments can help determine whether a patient is experiencing a specific cognitive disorder. Neuropsychological assessment may also help determine whether a brain injury or neurological disease is contributing to that cognitive disorder.
Neuropsychological assessments are usually requested by medical treatment teams to help develop the best rehabilitation plan to maximize recovery of cognitive function after a neurological injury or disease. However, neuropsychological assessments can also be requested in the context of a medical-legal setting. For example, a neuropsychological assessment may be requested to help a disability insurer determine if a patient qualifies for disability benefits, or to determine the extent of cognitive impairment and prognosis for recovery following an acquired brain injury.
Most assessments take several hours of face-to-face time with Dr. Cox and include an extensive interview about your symptoms and history. Frequently, it is useful to have a spouse or partner participate in the interview. Dr. Cox will also review your medical and psychiatric history. In some situations, such as requests for accommodation due to a learning disability or ADHD, Dr. Cox may need to review educational or occupational transcripts and speak with people who knew you as a child. After the interview, Dr. Cox will perform a number of standardized tests of different domains of cognitive function. She will then prepare a report describing the results and offering a diagnosis and treatment recommendations, if appropriate.