Neuropsychological test data are applied with increasing frequency in research studies and clinical practice in psychiatry.
Neuropsychological evaluations make significant contributions to understanding about abnormal brain structure and function in patients with psychiatric disorders. Neuropsychological test data in psychiatric populations can be interpreted to reflect abnormalities in brain structure and function. Neuropsychological test batteries are essential as measures of the patterns of cognitive strength and deficit in individuals with specific psychiatric disorders. This information is useful to help clarify accurate diagnosis, document disease severity, and to make treatment decisions which will maximize an individual's treatment effectiveness and their quality of life.
In addition to testing models of regional brain dysfunction in psychiatric disorders, neuropsychological tests can provide an improved understanding of the relation between central cognitive impairments and psychatric symptoms, and serve to identify cognitive predictors of course of illness. Neuropsychological evaluations also provide a method for discriminating among heterogeneous forms of some psychiatric disorders. Clinically, neuropsychological test data can be used to develop treatment strategies tailored for an individual's specific cognitive strengths and deficits, and to measure treatment effectiveness.