Neuropsychological Examination (NPE)
The Neuropsychological Examination (NPE) is necessary to determine cognitive ability that goes beyond the scope of imaging techniques (e.g., CT, MRI). These are only pictures that show structure, while the NPE shows function. This “blue print” of thinking strengths and weaknesses is crucial in the planning of proper treatment and ultimately mainstreaming the patient back into society with a practical understanding of effective functioning. It is this approach that distinguishes NRS|LS as a comprehensive, quality-care outpatient program.
What Does the NPE Involve?
Planning: Obtaining adequate information is necessary to plan the NPE. This includes pertinent medical and psychosocial history that has prompted the referral.
Consultation: After the relevant information is received, the neuropsychological consultation consists of an interview that clarifies the clinical condition and how the patient (and family) describes his or her functioning.
Examination: The patient then undergoes the NPE, which includes the following assessments:
- Perceptual skills (hearing, seeing, feeling)
- Speed and coordination of motor responses
- Attention and concentration skills
- Speech and language functions
- Visual spatial functions
- Speed of new learning (processing)
- Learning capacity
- Problem solving, reasoning, abstraction
- Background intellectual and achievement level
- Emotional and behavioral functioning
The NPE is usually recommended when there are symptoms or complaints involving some change in your thinking or cognition. NPEs are requested to help your doctors and other professionals understand how the different cognitive systems of your brain are working. The results of an NPE provide information to patients that relates to real-world, daily functioning. The NPE can be used to examine any age group, starting as young as age 3.
The Clinical Utility of the NPE is Threefold
- Determine if there is objective evidence of impaired cognitive brain functions.
- Analyze the pattern of the NPE findings and determine if they suggest diffuse, lateralized, or regionalized cerebral dysfunction.
- Analyze the pattern of cognitive deficits and determine if it is compatible with known brain disorders in a given patient.
Psychological Examination is an objective means of obtaining information about the patient’s emotional, behavioral, and psychological functioning in order to provide effective treatment. Through assessment, specific problems can be identified (e.g., diagnosis) and a plan specifically designed for the patient can be determined. Finally, we can monitor the effectiveness of our treatment in terms of outcome.
Areas of the Examination
During the examination, we focus on three areas:
- Behaviors that may serve as potential treatment complications
- Aspects of the patient’s clinical picture that may complicate treatment efforts
- Objective data that will determine what type of treatment the patient may need
This approach provides an opportunity for treatment considerations involving important elements in case management and treatment planning.
At NRS|LS, we believe in the importance of neuropsychodiagnostics testing in order to render the proper diagnosis and treatment to each individual patient.
Our unique scientific approach to testing employs a neuropsychological fixed battery of tests. This test has been developed to reflect impaired cognitive brain functions, standardized upon thousands of individuals with thinking deficits. It is a comprehensive battery covering all relevant areas of thinking, as well as, provide a balanced representation of the various neuropsychological functions served by the brain. Our battery is standardized, validated and clinically able to determine the person’s cognitive ability to function.