Neuropsychology specialty that focuses on evaluation of the thinking process. Aspects of brain functioning that are assessed typically include orientation, new learning/memory, intelligence, language, visual perception, and executive function. However, clinical neuropsychological assessment is more than this and also focuses on a person’s psychological, personal, interpersonal circumstances. Neuropsychological evaluations are available for children ages 5 and older. Assessment is provided to better understand thinking disorders that are related to traumatic brain injury, stroke, toxin exposure, substance abuse, as well as progressive neurological disorders, such as dementia or multiple sclerosis. There are three broad goals of neuropsychological assessment:
- To diagnose the nature of the underlying problem.
- To understand the nature of any brain injury or resulting cognitive problem and its impact on the individual, as a means of devising a rehabilitation program or advising an individual about their ability to carry out certain tasks, (for example, fitness to drive, or returning to work)
- Assessments may be undertaken to measure change in functioning over time, such as to determine the consequences of a surgical procedure or the impact of a rehabilitation program. Often,these evaluations are used to assist in physical rehabilitation and in long-term care and placement, as well as providing assistance with therapy recommendations.