Neuropsychological evaluation

What is neuropsychological evaluation?

It is a diagnostic method that studies brain functioning and provides other information that study methods such as electroencephalogram, CT scan or MRI cannot provide. It allows us to understand how the different areas and systems of a patient’s brain function by measuring their cognitive abilities.

What does it consist of?

By means of theoretical models, tests, interviews, questionnaires and scales, the cognitive and affective-behavioral state of patients is evaluated. The aspects studied are:

  • General intellectual capacity
  • Visuospatial skills
  • Language
  • Learning and memory
  • Temperament and personality
  • Attention and concentration
  • High-level performance skills or executive functions such as reasoning or problem solving.

Why is it performed?

It is performed to identify weaknesses in specific areas or functions, early or mild cognitive disorders, depression, Alzheimer’s, Fronto-Temporal Dementia or Vascular Dementia. Also other diseases that can affect memory and attention such as diabetes, metabolic or infectious diseases and alcoholism. In addition to being able to know which areas of the brain are affected.

It can be useful to evaluate the effects of surgery for pathologies such as epilepsy, hydrocephalus and certain tumors. And the effect of pharmacological treatments to treat pathologies such as schizophrenia, for example.

From the results of the tests it is much easier to establish a correct treatment according to the patient’s situation.

Neuropsychological evaluation is a useful procedure to detect pathologies that affect brain functioning.

Preparation for neuropsychological evaluation

It is not necessary for the patient to follow specific preparation guidelines to undergo a psychological evaluation, since it consists of tests, interviews and questionnaires.

See also  Psycho-oncology

Significance of abnormal results

The neuropsychological evaluation makes it possible to diagnose pathologies that affect brain functioning, so a result may be considered abnormal if it is detected that the patient may suffer from one of the diseases described above. Even so, each case is different and in many cases it is possible to achieve an effective treatment in time and reduce the effects of the disease.