FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?

Neuropsychological evaluations are recommended by referral sources such as physicians, educators, rehabilitation 

specialists, psychologists and attorneys  for any case in which brain-based impairment in cognitive, behavioral or emotional functions are suspected.  A neuropsychological evaluation is an assessment of cognitive, behavioral and emotional functions using procedures such as interviews and standardized testing. 

Various cognitive and emotional functions may be evaluated including, but not limited to:

 

  • Intelligence

  • Problem Solving and Conceptualization

  • Planning and Organization

  • Attention, Memory, and Learning

  • Language

  • Academic Skills

  • Perceptual, Motor and Sensory Abilities

  • Emotion, Behavior, and Personality

 

 

Why have I been referred for a Neuropsychological Evaluation?

Your referral source believes that an evaluation focusing on cognitive, behavioral and/or emotional functioning would be helpful in your treatment.  An evaluation that addresses one or more of these areas may be important for a number of reasons.  For instance, it may be important for treatment planning to understand your current pattern of strengths and weaknesses in one or more of these areas.  Some medical and developmental conditions also change over time, in the ways that they impact brain functioning.  Some conditions may improve over time, while others may worsen over time.  As a result, a referral source may want to establish an objective baseline so that any changes in cognitive, behavioral and/or emotional functioning can be tracked over time.  The results of a neuropsychological evaluation may guide a referral source in determining if medications would be helpful for a particular patient.  The results may also help in decision-making, in relation to creating rehabilitation programs or in the consideration of disability.  For children and adolescents, an evaluation may also be requested to address learning issues and  programs for academic and/or emotional support.  These are just a few reasons that neuropsychological evaluations are requested.   

The following is a list of some of the more common conditions seen for evaluation:

Adults

  • Problems with Changes in Attention or Memory

  • ADHD

  • Learning Problems

  • Cerebrovascular Problems such as Stroke

  • Seizure Disorders/Epilepsy

  • Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementia Syndromes

  • Cardiac Problems

  • Parkinson's Disease

  • Huntington's Disease

  • Brain Injury/Concussion

  • Cancer/Cancer Treatment including Brain Tumors

  • Emotional/Psychiatric/Behavioral Problems



Children & Adolescents

  • Academic and Learning Difficulties

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Brain Injury/Concussion

  • Cancer/Cancer Treatment including Brain Tumors

  • Seizure Disorders/Epilepsy

  • Hydrocephalus

  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

  • Neurocutaneous Syndromes such as Tuberous Sclerosis and Neurofibromatosis

  • Tourette Syndrome and Other Tic Disorders

  • Emotional/Psychiatric/Behavioral Problems

 

 

Who provides Neuropsychological Evaluations?


Neuropsychological Evaluations are conducted by neuropsychologists.  A neuropsychologist is a doctoral level clinical psychologist who has obtained specialty fellowship training in neuropsychology (study of brain-behavior relationships).


How long does a Neuropsychological Evaluation take?

 

The length of an evaluation depends upon a number of things. These include the type of referral question, the nature of the condition being evaluated, and the individual being evaluated. The face-to-face portion of an evaluation may last for two hours or it may last for 8 hours. This all depends upon some of the factors mentioned earlier. After the face-to-face portion of the evaluation, a neuropsychologist typically spends a significant amount of time interpreting the data and generating a report. Including record review, interview, testing, interpretation and report writing, a comprehensive evaluation is typically 8-12 hours in length.

 

 

What is a Neuropsychological Consultation?


A Neuropsychological Consultation differs from the Neuropsychological Evaluation described above.  Neuropsychological Consultations are typically scheduled prior to a more comprehensive evaluation or following a comprehensive evaluation.  These formal consultations are usually booked for one hour blocks of time. Consultations prior to an evaluation are often sought to discuss the complexities of an individual’s condition,  its impact upon their life and navigation of complex systems of care in the medical arena. A full hour is spent with one of our doctors discussing the case. The individual’s medical records are often reviewed as part of the consultation. Topics discussed may relate to a better understanding of the condition in question. Whether other consultations should be sought with other specialists, whether a Neuropsychological Evaluation is recommended, and the benefits of such an evaluation. Family members are often invited to be a part of the consultation and an active problem-solving approach is adopted during the consultation. As mentioned before, consultations are also sought following an evaluation.  These consultations are often focused on a more in depth review of the results and recommendations from the Neuropsychological Evaluation, as they add to the overall clinical picture, the conceptualization of the condition or insights for treatment and/or rehabilitation.

 

 

Are evaluations covered under insurance?


The Neuropsychology Group of West Virginia is insurance friendly. We accept most insurances for evaluations. However, there are some circumstances under which evaluations are partially covered by insurances or not covered at all by insurances. For instance, there are some diagnoses that a particular insurance company may not cover for this type of evaluation.  In these instances, self-payment for some or all of the evaluation may be necessary.

 

 

Will I receive any feedback about my Neuropsychological Evaluation?

 

Yes. A detailed and comprehensive written report is generated for every Neuropsychological Evaluation. In addition, all patients are scheduled for a follow-up Neuropsychological Consultation visit in order to provide face-to-face feedback about the evaluation results and recommendations as discussed above.