Geriatric Neuropsychological Assessment //
Neuropsychological evaluation can aid in the diagnosis and management of patients with dementia or other psychiatric and neurological disorders. Neuropsychological assessment is the standardized administration of cognitive tests and the individualized interpretation of the results of these tests to form conclusions about brain-behavior relationships and brain function.
A typical neuropsychological evaluation for a patient will last 1 or 2 hours, depending on the patient’s tolerance, and will involve standardized testing of memory, attention, processing speed, language, visual-spatial skills, executive functioning, and motor skills. By examining the patient’s pattern of performance on these tests, neuropsychologists can help specify both the type of dementia experienced by the patient and the prognosis.
Neuropsychological testing has been recommended by the American Academy of Neurology since 1996 for patients who may be experiencing cognitive deterioration perhaps the result of a type of dementia. Guidelines published by the American Academy of Neurology note that neuropsychological testing “is particularly valuable in distinguishing between normal aging and mild dementias.” Furthermore, neuropsychological testing has been found to be the most sensitive means to determine the type of cognitive impairment or dementia.
Neuropsychological Assessment Components
Completion of pre-assessment Background Information questionnaires
Psychological Clinical Interview
Formal Neuropsychological Evaluation
Medical History and Physical
Review of Medications
Assessment Feedback Session
Reasons for Assessment
NCGC uses assessment tools most sensitive to mild cognitive changes and the differences between different types of dementia to make the most accurate diagnosis.
After an accurate diagnosis is determined recommendations for the most effective medical, environmental, behavioral and psychological treatments are offered and prescribed.
Beyond diagnosis, assessment results reveal functional capabilities leading to recommendations regarding safety concerns and needed level of external support.
Assessments can evaluate decision-making ability and assist in the initiation of guardianship proceedings if deemed necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How long does the assessment take?
We generally say to allot 3 to 3 1/2 hours for the entire assessment including the feedback session, although this just an estimate.
2) How long does it take to get the report?
It generally takes between 2 to 3 weeks to get the written assessment.
3) What do we need to bring to the assessment?
Completed paperwork we sent to you (unless there was not enough time for us to get it to you), your insurance cards, and a list of medications. You can also bring any copies of medical records which you may feel are relevant.
4) Who should come to the assessment?
We leave that up to you, keeping in mind that it is often helpful to have someone accompany the patient who knows them well and has fairly regular day to day contact with the patient.
5) Does my insurance pay for the assessment?
We are traditional Medicare providers and Medicare pays 80% of the assessment. For other Medicare Advantage products we are covered by many of them, but it is the responsibility of the patient to ensure coverage before the appointment. We do not have the staff availability to assure coverage before the assessment.
The medical evaluation as part of the geriatric assessment includes the completion of a medical history and a physical evaluation specifically designed to identify and treat medical conditions more common for older adults, and assess medical conditions which can cause or contribute to cognitive impairment. In addition, the medical portion of the assessment includes a comprehensive medication review, again specifically evaluating whether medicines interact with one another and/or may contribute to the development or exacerbation of cognitive difficulties.