What is neuropsychological testing?
During the past decade neuropsychological testing has become a very sophisticated science. Currently available tests are highly accurate, standardized instruments with predictive accuracy in the 80-95% range. They are validated through clinical trials, adhering to stringent, objective measures. Neuropsychological tests provide quantifiable results that indicate the amount of deviation from base-line norms. Through a comparison of patient responses to established norms, the clinician can determine the scope and severity of cognitive impairments.
What information will I get from a neuropsychological report?
Neuropsychological testing is a procedure that measures and identifies cognitive impairment and functioning in individuals. It provides quantifiable data about the following aspects of cognition:
Short-term and long-term memory
Ability to learn new skills and solve problems • Attention, concentration, and distractibility
Logical and abstract reasoning functions
Ability to understand and express language
Visual-spatial organization and visual-motor coordination
Planning, synthesizing and organizing abilities
Is neuropsychological testing expensive? What about costs and insurance reimbursement?
Neuropsychological testing is viewed by insurance companies and HMO's as medical diagnostics, not as a mental health issue. They reimburse at the same rate as other medical specialties. Using neuropsychological tests early in the diagnostic decision tree can save money by avoiding unnecessary diagnostic imaging.
What is done within the Neurology Department at MSU?
In the Department of Neurology at MSU, we have developed a battery of standardized tests to answer a specific referral question - diagnosing incipient dementia or Mild Cognitive Impairment. Neuropsychological testing for other reasons (ie, closed head injury or ADD) is not done within our department, and should be referred to other sources for evaluation. Neuropsychological testing is ordered at the discretion of the treating neurologist, and is performed by a trained neuropsychometrician, under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Bozoki.