What is neuropsychological testing?
Neuropsychological testing is an assessment of cortical functions. These functions regulate emotions and behaviors and are responsible for cognition.
Using standardized tests, cognitive, emotional and behavioral functions can be assessed, measured and compared to age and education matched normative data. Based on the results of these tests, both the type and the severity of cortical dysfunction can be determined and used by the clinical neuropsychologist in rendering cognitive and neuropsychiatric diagnoses.
How is a neuropsychological exam different from a neurological exam?
The neuropsychological exam, sometimes referred to as cortical or cognitive testing, typically picks up where the neurological exam ends. Although there is some overlap between the two exams, the emphasis of the neuropsychological evaluation is on cortical functions and their subcortical connections within the context of these systems’ ability to generate and regulate the cognitions, emotions and behaviors of the individual.
How is a neuropsychological exam different from a psychiatric exam?
A psychiatric exam is needed to diagnosis psychiatric disorders such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Schizophrenia and is not intended to diagnosis neurobehavioral syndromes such as Dysbulia, Dysexecutive Syndromes or Apraxia. However, because psychiatric disorders, such as Major Depression, can also affect brain functions, a psychiatric exam is built into every neuropsychological evaluation. Through the use of the psychiatric interview and standardized psychological testing psychiatric conditions can be diagnosed and differentiated from neurological disorders.
How is a neuropsychological exam different from neuroimaging studies?
Neuroimaging studies such as CT and MRI scans of the brain are structural tests providing information about the integrity of the brain based on an assessment of brain tissue as oppose to brain functionality. Given this difference, neuroimaging tests results are very helpful and are incorporated by the clinical neuropsychologists to help interpret neuropsychological test results and aide in making a central nervous system (CNS) related diagnosis. Similarly, an EEG and QEEG emphasize brain physiology and again these results aid the clinical neuropsychologist in test interpretation.
Why refer your clients for neuropsychological assessment at NRI?
Unlike large medical institutions, your client will receive personalized service and will be evaluated by a seasoned neuropsychologist as oppose to an entry level clinician, intern or resident. Dr. Tramontano conducts all of the forensic neuropsychological exams at NRI and has 11 years of post-residency experience completing competency to stand trial and forensic neuropsychological examinations. Over the past 11 years, Dr. Tramontano’s neuropsychological test results and testimony have often been the critical data relied on to successfully settle several hundred litigation cases.