Neuropsychology is concerned with relationships between the brain and behavior. Neuropsychologists conduct evaluations to characterize behavioral and cognitive changes resulting from central nervous system disease or injury, like Parkinson’s disease or another movement disorder.
Neuropsychological evaluation is an assessment of how one’s brain functions, which indirectly yields information about the structural and functional integrity of your brain. The neuropsychological evaluation involves an interview and the administration of tests. Neuropsychological tests (unlike bedside cognitive and behavioral neurologic screens) are standardized, meaning that they are given in the same manner to all patients and scored in a similar manner time after time.
Neuropsychological tests evaluate functioning in a number of areas including: intelligence, executive functions (such as planning, abstraction, conceptualization), attention, memory, language, perception, sensorimotor functions, motivation, mood state and emotion, quality of life, and personality styles. The areas addressed in an individual’s evaluation are determined by the referral question (what the referring doctor and patient wants to know), patient’s complaints and symptoms, and observations made during interview and test administration. Neuropsychological tests can take up to 10 hours.