What is a neuropsychologist and neuropsychological testing:
Neuropsychologists are professionals within the field of psychology with special expertise in the applied science of brain-behavior relationships. Specialized knowledge of brain – behavior relationships are used in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of patients.
The neuropsychologist uses neuropsychological and psychological tests, along with neurological, cognitive, behavioral, and physiological principles and test results, to evaluate patients’ neurocognitive, behavioral, and emotional characteristics. Each patients strengths and weaknesses and their relationship to normal and abnormal central nervous system (brain related) functioning are identified. The results of testing will help with diagnosis and treatment.
Neuropsychological assessment is used for a variety of reasons: assist in the diagnosis of and classification of major neurocognitive disorders (dementias), is integral part of the comprehensive assessment of sports related concussion and traumatic brain injury, identify problems related to medical conditions and medications that can effect memory and thinking; e.g., diabetes, metabolic and infectious diseases and alcohol/drug abuse, establish baseline functioning and help determine if changes in cognitive functioning are normal or the result of a neurodegenerative disease, assist in determining everyday functional skills such as managing money, driving, ability to work.