Neuropsychological evaluation is used to provide information about diagnosis, detection of cognitive impairment, treatment planning, evaluation of treatment efficacy, and measurement of change over time. An evaluation includes face-to-face assessment of individual clients, provision of feedback to clients and family members, and communication of findings and recommendations to referring physicians via written reports and team meetings.
Eligibility. Clients must be medically stable (i.e., no delirium) and fluent in English (i.e., do not need a translator). They should have sufficient vision, hearing, oral comprehension, verbal expression, and motor control to participate in cognitive testing. Generally, patients with moderate to severe dementia are not eligible.
How to refer. These services are provided internally to Baycrest programs. Referrals are accepted from physicians in the Geriatric Assessment Clinics, Sam and Ida Ross Memory Clinic, Mood Clinic, Psychiatric Day Hospital, Geriatric Community Psychiatry Service, and inpatient units including Rehabilitation, Geriatric Assessment and Treatment Unit, and Psychiatry. The process for receiving internal referrals includes the following:
- Referrals from all in- and out-patient Baycrest programs and services must be made through the Order Entry module of the MEDITECH system.
- Referrals should give a brief description of the relevant medical history and presenting problems as well as a clear question that can be answered by a neuropsychological evaluation.
- If it is an urgent request this should be stated clearly, and we will do our best to accommodate.
For more information about the Neuropsychological Evaluation Service, please call 416-785–2500 ext. 2445.
Frequently Asked Questions from Clients
What is the reason and purpose for a neuropsychological evaluation
A neuropsychological evaluation can help you or your physician in a number of ways. The results can help diagnose problems related to brain dysfunction and disease. It can identify the changes that may have happened to your memory, thinking, reasoning, understanding, concentration, perception, and self-expression. The results can also be useful to treat daily problems due to memory failures.
What will be evaluated?
Specific skills such as memory, problem solving, reasoning, understanding, concentration, perception, and language may be examined. This may involve answering questions, copying or writing things down, or remembering things.
Who will do the evaluation?
A psychologist trained in neuropsychological assessment will either perform the evaluation or supervise the evaluation by an associate. She/he is trained to understand how our brain works and how it affects our behaviour, what we do and how we think
How do I prepare for an evaluation?
No special studying is required for a neuropsychological evaluation, but there are several other things you can do to help insure the process runs smoothly. You should try to get a good night’s sleep before the evaluation. Be sure to bring your reading glasses or hearing aids if you need these for reading and for normal conversation. Bring your medications, or a list of your current medications with you. It also would be helpful if someone who knows you well comes with you to provide additional information about your history and any problems you may be having.
How long will the assessment take?
It will normally take 2 to 4 hours, but in exceptional cases it may take as long as 6 hours. Some people tire and choose to take rest breaks. Some people prefer to break it up into 2 sessions.
Can I be harmed by the evaluation?
There is no risk of physical harm; the neuropsychological evaluation does not involve a physical examination. If you become tired during the evaluation you will be offered the opportunity to rest or to complete the evaluation at another time.
Will I be able to find out how I did on the tests?
The psychologist will explain the results of your evaluation to you. Your strengths and your problem areas will be discussed and every effort will be made to help you understand how your life (e.g. work opportunities and day-to-day activities) may be affected. This is the time to ask any questions you may have about the results or for recommendations. You may find it helpful to bring a family member or a friend to this feedback session.
What is the cost of the evaluation?
There is no cost if a physician associated with Baycrest has referred you for the purpose of helping to either diagnose or treat a medical condition.