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What is Neuropsychology?

In addition to being difficult to spell and pronounce, neuropsychology is an important division of psychology. It is the study and application of brain-behavior relationships. We all know that the brain is responsible for thinking, memory, movement, feelings, and actions; neuropsychologists use tests and other forms of assessment to draw conclusions about brain health and function.

A neuropsychological evaluation is sometimes referred to as memory testing, when really it covers much more. In addition to assessing memory, a neuropsychological evaluation also measures attention and concentration, executive function, language, and other cognitive abilities. Evaluations also address biological, psychological, and social factors. All of this information is gathered through paper-pencil tests, verbal tasks, observations, and clinical interviews.

Neuropsychological evaluations can be helpful in a number of ways. Some people are referred, often by a neurologist or their family doctor, for diagnostic clarification. You might have shared with your doctor “I’m worried about my memory, could I have Alzheimer’s disease?” or “Mom’s been very forgetful lately, is that normal?” Perhaps you've asked yourself "How do I know if I have ADHD?" or "Do I need ADHD testing ?" A neuropsychologist can answer these questions. A neuropsychological evaluation can also be helpful for assessment of cognitive and emotional changes in the context of known medical events or conditions, like concussions, COVID-19 and long-COVID, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, strokes, etc.

In addition to answering questions about cognition, neuropsychological evaluations are useful in establishing a baseline in the setting of normal aging or known medical conditions, particularly for those with a family history of dementia. In some cases, evaluations may be repeated on a regular basis for monitoring recovery, decline, or maintenance.

Finally, a good neuropsychologist should do more than answer a referral question. Following a thorough evaluation, your neuropsychologist is in an excellent position to offer individualized recommendations. Some recommendations may be for medical doctors or other providers (for example, regarding treatment planning). Other recommendations are for clients and their families (for example, developing plans for improving brain health and daily functions; sharing and practicing strategies for coping with cognitive changes and for enhancing or maximizing strengths; placing referrals for follow-up providers who are likely to be a good fit). These recommendations may be provided in writing and/or shared during feedback or follow-up coaching sessions.

At PATH Neuropsychology, we do all of the above; we provide evidence-based, patient-centered, and holistic service to the greater Cincinnati community and we do so with compassion and skill.

To learn more about our neuropsychological services, and how they might benefit you or your family, request a free consultation or give us a call.


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