Neuropsychological Evaluations

Neuropsychology is a highly specialized field that requires knowledge of brain-behavior relationships, neuroanatomy, neurological disorders, and the impact of various medical conditions on cognitive and emotional functioning. Neuropsychologists are clinical psychologists that have received formalized training in this subspecialty, which requires specific coursework and experiences in grad school and a post-doctoral residency in neuropsychology.

Our neuropsychologists at PNBC are either board-certified in clinical neuropsychology, or eligible for board-certification (and are going through the process). Board-certification in neuropsychology helps consumers to know that the neuropsychologist has been through rigorous peer-review and has met the standards to demonstrate high competency in the field of neuropsychology. Criteria for being eligible for board-certification can be found here.

What is a neuropsychological evaluation? 

Neuropsychological evaluations provide comprehensive assessments of a person’s cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning, while taking into account different factors that could contribute to a person’s condition, including psychiatric, neurological, and medical conditions, effects of medications, psychosocial, cultural, and environmental factors. A neuropsychological evaluation can be a valuable first step to determine a proper diagnosis and help guide treatment planning. The right diagnosis that takes into account the whole picture then leads to comprehensive recommendations for treatment of the condition.

Neuropsychological domains assessed:

Neuropsychological evaluations typically assess the following areas of functioning:

  • General intellectual abilities
  • Academic achievement
  • Motor and sensory functioning
  • Attention and processing speed
  • Expressive and receptive language abilities
  • Visuospatial/perceptual abilities
  • Learning & memory
  • Executive functions (higher-order thinking abilities, i.e. problem-solving, abstract reasoning, etc.)
  • Personality and emotional functioning

What are some reasons to get a neuropsychological evaluation?

Some common referral reasons for a neuropsychological evaluation include questions regarding:

  • Measuring changes in thinking and behavior after a brain injury or medical condition
  • Determining an accurate diagnosis due to changes in thinking and/or behavior (and recommending appropriate treatment)
  • Differentiating between psychiatric and neurologic conditions
  • Evaluating memory concerns and answering questions about possible dementia/neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease
  • Evaluating for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or determining other contributors to attention problems.
  • In non-clinical cases, neuropsychological evaluations might be requested by employers or organizations to determine someone’s fitness for duty or readiness to return to work after a medical event. 

How long does a neuropsychological evaluation take?

Depending on the reason for the evaluation and tests that are needed, the face-to-face time with the examinee can range from 2 hours up to 12 hours.

Our Areas of Specialty (For Adults 18+):

 

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Concussions & head injuries

Cerebrovascular accidents (CVA)/strokes

Neurodegenerative conditions/dementia (Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementias, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, etc.)

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Multiple sclerosis & autoimmune disorders

Epilepsy and seizure disorders

Our Neuropsychologists

Delia Silva, PsyD, ABPP-CN, QME
Sarah Jurick, Ph.D.