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Neuropsychological assessments

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Neuropsychological assessments

A neuropsychological assessment is a comprehensive evaluation usually done at some stage during rehabilitation after a brain injury.

Ideally a neuropsychological assessment should explain how damage in the brain affects the way a person thinks, acts and deals with life after a traumatic brain injury or other kind of brain disorder. 


The ultimate goal of a neuropsychological assessment is to fully maximize the survivor's recovery and participation in family, work and the community. It  is very useful in guiding the rehabilitation process, and evaluates many areas of functioning such as:

  • Perceptual, sensory and motor functions
  • Concentration, attention and memory
  • Emotions, personality and behaviour
  • Language
  • Problem-solving
  • Planning and organization
  • Intelligence
  • Study skills.


The neuropsychologist will usually look at case histories, hospital records and talk to family members to learn about the person's functioning before the brain injury.


Benefits of a neuropsychological assessment 

The assessment not only guides the rehabilitation process but helps the person and their family to understand the impact of the traumatic brain injury more. The neuropsychologist will normally meet with the family to discuss the findings - taking notes or recording the meeting is highly recommended. A written report is usually provided too, covering the case history, current issues, tests conducted, observations, assessment results and recommendations.

The neuropsychologist should explain the person's abilities that remain unchanged as well as expected problem areas and the impact these will have on day-to-day life for the person as well as the family e.g. "damage to the frontal lobes of the brain will difficulties in planning and organizing, the family will need to provide structure, prompts and reminders".


Obtaining a neuropsychological assessment 

These tests can be quite expensive - if it wasn't done during rehabilitation then often universities offering programs in neuropsychology provide evaluations at low cost or sliding scale as part of their student training.




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