The purpose of Taking A Neuropsychology Test is to determine the health of the brain. The Test is designed to find any problems related to cognitive struggles.
The Test is supervised by a doctor. The Test is offered in three typical forms, pencil and paper, on computer, read by the doctor or a combination of forms. The Test can take 30 minutes to several hours and in some cases more then one session is required.
The doctor will be looking to the Test to see attention span and ability to concentrate. The Test also looks at memory, cognitive ability, motor function, comprehension, verbal ability, decision making and problem solving. A Neuropsychology Test is made up of several individual Tests designed to isolate specific abilities.
Memory Test A sentence, list of words or number is given and asked to repeat immediately or over a period of time.
Cognitive Test Two pictures or a group of pictures maybe shown. May be asked to determine the similarity or difference between the pictures.
Verbal Communication Test This test may show an object and then ask for a list starting with the same first letter or given a letter and provide a list that starts with the same letter.
Motor Skills Test In this test one is asked to solve physical puzzles, first with one hand then the other.
A Neuropsychology Test can help doctors determine if changes in memory and thinking were caused by a brain injury, related to age, a decease, anxiety or depression.
Neuropsychological Test Preparation Preparing for a Neuropsychology Test it is recommended to get good nights sleep, have a good breakfast and avoid alcohol.
Neuropsychological Test Procedure The doctor will conduct an interview to understand the medical history and symptoms. This information will help determine what tests are needed. A neuropsychologist or an assistant or possibly a student will direct the tests.
Neuropsychological Test Results and Follow Up The doctor will write up a report based on the interview and their interpretation of the test results. The doctor may request a referral for tests such as CT scan or MRI. The doctor may also recommend counselling in cases of depression.
Personal Observation After taking a couple of the Neuropsychological Tests, I found the environment in the testing area to be very sterile. I understood that they didn’t want any outside influences to create a distraction. The difficulty I have with that way of thinking is that when dealing with cognitive ability to have accurate results, the symptoms of the individual taking the test should be considered. Often cognitive difficulties are associated with other symptoms like Auditory Agnosia, this is a neurological inability to separate the surrounding sounds. Performing a Neuropsychological Test in a quiet room with out distractions such as conversation gives a skewed result of abilities .
The recommendations on how to prepare for the Test may change the participant’s results. A participant that doesn’t experience the Neuropsychology Test as their normal could produce results that do not reflect their normal abilities.
The report may not be fully presented to the Test participant of the Neuropsychology Tests, when it is requested by an insurance company.
The Results No matter what the results of the Neuropsychology Test, the results will become a part of the permanent health records. The results from the Tests could indicate more tests are required, tests like a MRI. The results can assist in having an insurance claim accepted, the results can also make it difficult to have an insurance claim accepted. Collecting information from the Neuropsychology Test will allow for planning the best mental and physical health treatment strategies.
Personal Experience The last Test I participated in took over 8 hours, 5 hours the first session and 3 hours the second session. Afterwards I was extremely fatigued, I had terrible headaches and was unable to concentrate for the next 3 days. The Test was requested by an insurance company, I was never given a follow up with the doctor. The results of the Test were used to disallow my claim that had recently been approved for extension.
Yes neuropsychology tests. Used by insurers most often to NOT pay for a claim, and as they are paying the substantial bill, often the “results” are vague enough that they can skirt a causal relationship
As you say they are sterile, and most people do not get to live in a sterile environment, nor do they work in one. The surrounding distractions, noise, light, conversations, equipment noise etc all pile on top of the work you are doing, and so your brain could already be ¾ consumed with outside stimuli and just cannot do the task at hand. This will not show up on a neuro psych test.
They are also not good for frontal lobe injuries, nor are they accurate when being compared to the “control” group of like minded, like aged and same education. There is no test prior to the accident and so nothing real to compare it to, and the doctor then determines what they think was your state.
If you are a high achieving Type A person, this in fact screws you over.
Lastly a one time test, especially a couple or 3 years after an accident is hardly indicative of what the brain state was post accident.
So while a tool, they are just that, not the be all and end all – but insurance will use them as such if they have the answer they want.
The results of a test can differ from one doctor to another.