When you have trouble remembering things, thinking clearly, or processing information, it can be unsettling. It can also be a sign of a condition like ADHD, autism, or dementia. The best way to find out what’s going on is through a neuropsychological assessment.
A neuropsychological assessment is a diagnostic tool used to diagnose a variety of psychiatric, neurocognitive, and developmental conditions in people of all ages. Dr. Richard Abbey and the team at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic in Palo Alto, California regularly use these assessments to check the health of your brain and make sure you receive the most suitable treatments for your condition.
When neuropsychological assessments can help
Neuropsychological assessments can benefit everyone from children to senior citizens who struggle with cognitive, verbal, and motor function issues. Whether you have a child who struggles at school, a parent with memory issues, or experienced a head injury playing a sport, neuropsychological assessments can help pinpoint the problem so you can get the most helpful treatment.
These tests can help us determine if your issues stem from things like:
- A traumatic brain injury or concussion
- Mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, or trauma
- A movement disorder like Parkinson’s disease
- Cognitive disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
- Neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and ADHD
- Age-related cognitive decline
A neurological assessment can also help determine whether you or your loved one has a diagnosed medical condition or just symptoms that seem worrying.
What’s involved in a neuropsychological assessment?
Neurological assessments involve a variety of tests that examine how you think and behave. These tests are both oral and written, and look at things like your fine motor skills, visual-spatial abilities, speed of information processing, and emotional and social functioning.
The tests can also provide insight into how well you solve problems, organize ideas, and track things visually.
We perform all of our neuropsychological assessments in the office, usually over a period of several days. Through the battery of tests, we aim to get a clear picture of what’s going on with your brain and see where any deficits lie.
With all of this information, we can make an accurate diagnosis and get started on appropriate treatments.
Preparing for a neuropsychological assessment
One of the most appealing parts of a neuropsychological assessment is that you don’t need to do anything abnormal to get ready for it. You should be prepared to discuss your medical history and have a list of any prescription or over-the-counter medications you regularly take. You may need to stop taking some medications before the test.
Other than that, get a good night’s sleep, and eat a healthy breakfast so that your answers aren’t affected by fatigue or hunger. You want to be as sharp as possible when going through the tests so we can get the most accurate picture of your brain health.
If you’re concerned about troubling symptoms in yourself or a loved one, find out if a neuropsychological assessment can help. Contact our office by phone at 650-215-6840, or schedule an appointment online today.