The primary goal of a neuropsychological evaluation is to identify how an individual’s brain functions relative to mental and behavioral capacities.  A neuropsychological evolution is a comprehensive psychological assessment that assesses a wide range of mental skills. These skills are generally broken into cognitive domains that include:

  • General Intelligence – A generalized measurement of how a person thinks and solves problems.
  • Executive Functioning – evaluating a person’s impulse control, problem-solving, judgment, reasoning, organization and planning skills, attention span, and concentration.
  • Processing Speed – How fast a person can understand and process information.
  • Language – determining your word-finding ability, vocabulary, grammar, articulation, and verbal reasoning skills.
  • Memory and Learning – testing short-term and long-term memory, visual and auditory memory skills, and ability to retain newly learned information.
  • Sensorimotor – Dexterity, motor function, grip strength, fine and gross motor skills, sight, smell, touch, and coordination.
  • Visuospatial – how concrete and abstract visual information, special awareness, visual construction, visual organization, space-object relationships.

A Neuropsychological Evaluation May also Include:

Another possible element of a neuropsychological evaluation is assessing any of the following skillsets. Your functioning skills, which may include money management, self-care, hygiene, cooking, housekeeping, child/pet care, ability to work, and paying bills. Socioemotional functioning, which represents your emotional regulation, your ability to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships.

What Does it Include?

Although adjusted based on the specific needs of a client, a neuropsychological evaluation generally includes several parts. Testing involves:

  • manipulating objects
  • answering questions
  • A range of pencil and paper tasks
  • write and draw 
  • verbal responses

The evaluation will also include a clinical interview that reviews the client’s history such as development, mental health, medical, work, school, family, social, and daily routine. It is common for the evaluator to communicate with close friends, spouses, or family members to better understand the individual being evaluated.

Who Should Have A Neuropsychological Evaluation?

An individual should discuss their need or interest in having a neuropsychological evaluation with a medical provider to ensure it is appropriate. Neuropsychological evaluations are recommended, independently sought after, or for anyone curious about their general abilities including personal strengths and weaknesses. You might order a test for a number of reasons, including:

To Assist with diagnoses 

  • Trying to measure changes in your mental abilities. Are they caused by natural processes or a neuropsychological/neurological disorder? 

To Understand Your Baseline

  • This helps you determine your performance across cognitive skills sets. Results include finding both strengths and weaknesses across a variety of skills.

At the Request of Your School

  • This provides a comprehensive understanding of how an individual best learns and identifies any barriers to learning.

Those who Have Sustained a Brain Injury

  • For example, concussions, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and drug-induced brain damage. This generally includes identifying areas that may have been impacted by the injury and for neurorehabilitation.

Recently Diagnosed With a Neurodegenerative Disease

  • Forms of Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease. Evaluations are used to assess current functioning and to monitor how your mental capacities change over time. They are often recommended annually.

Neuropsychological Evaluation Services Available in Church Falls & Reston, VA

If you have questions about neuropsychological evaluations or any of the services offered at My Psychiatrist, reach out to us today! We are happy to help provide information, guidance, or to determine your eligibility for this service. Call our office to speak with a member of our team or schedule a consultation online today!