Neuropsychology investigates how the structure and function of the brain relates to different process and behaviours.

What kind of problems does Neuropsychology deal with?

This area of psychology is concerned with an areas of dysfunction following a specific event (e.g. trauma physical or emotional, disease, ageing, substance misuse).  It is concerned with investigating the cognitive (thinking) functioning of a person through administration of psychometric testing of the workings of key neurobiological areas of abilities and skills in the brain (e.g. attention, learning, problem solving) that are shown by research to react differently when organic lesions are present.

What is the procedure for a Neuropsychological assessment?

A neuropsychological assessment will begin in much the same way as any other assessment, with discussion with yourself.  However, a number of additional processes will occur, which makes the assessment process much longer:

  • If appropriate, collateral information will be sought from others (e.g. relatives, friends, employers)
  • A battery of standardised tests measuring cognitive, emotional and daily functioning.
  • Results will be compared to your abilities prior to the event that led to a suspected decline (premorbid functioning).
  • Analysis of mental state at time of testing.

It may be recommended that testing occurs in your home environment as you may feel more comfortable there and it will offer an opportunity to gain information with regards to your daily functioning abilities.  A large degree of neuropsychological assessment relies upon observation.

It is important to know that the results of a test are accurate so validity and reliability will also be checked however it is thought to be appropriate.  For example, screening for mental health difficulties and testing for malingering.

What type of issues do people often require a neuropsychological assessment for?

  • Autism

  • ADHD
  • Capacity judgements
  • Dementia
  • Dyslexia
  • Epilepsy
  • Greater understanding of any cognitive decline
  • Greater understanding of any sudden personality/emotional/behavioural change.
  • Head trauma
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Legal / Court work
  • Neurodegenerative disease of any kind
  • Road traffic accident
  • Strokes
  • Tumours

The Written Report

A neuropsychological report will be forwarded to either yourself, or yourself and the referring agency within twenty-one days of the assessment appointment.  This time-frame can be shortened with prior notice.  The report will outline background information collated on you (including educational, employment history), analysis of mental state at the time of testing and a profile of your cognitive abilities in all the different areas of functioning relevant to your particular presentation.

The report will be taliored to the original aim of the referral and if appropriate will make recommendations for the future.  If you have not had the opportunity to discuss the content of the report within the assessment sessions then you may have some questions with regard to the content or may feel that there are important omissions.  If this is the case please call Dr King to discuss your concerns.  It may not always be possible to change the content of the report but an addendum report can outline the concerns you have addressed with Dr King's subsequent responses.