Neuropsychology

Neuropsychology
At The Clinic, with four convenient locations in Palo Alto, San Jose, the Pacific Heights neighborhood and Financial District of San Francisco, California, we provide expert neuropsychological assessments for children, adolescents and adults. Our clinicians evaluate and make treatment recommendations for a wide range of cognitive issues, including: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disorders, dementia and behavioral, executive and motor functioning skills deficits. The Clinic will also soon service patients out of its new Berkeley and Marin locations.

Neuropsychology Q & A

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What is neuropsychology?

Neuropsychology is the study of brain-behavior relationships. Clinical neuropsychologists conduct detailed assessments to assist in the diagnosis of brain disorders and to facilitate effective treatment planning. In addition, neuropsychologists make recommendations to help patients reach their education or vocational goals. At The Clinic our neuropsychologists not only help clarify potential diagnoses, but determine which skills and strategies will be most effective to optimize overall brain function and foster general well-being.

What is evaluated during a neuropsychological assessment?

A neuropsychological examination can be used to evaluate various aspects of brain functioning. These may include:

  • General intellect
  • Attention (the ability to concentrate for an extended period)
  • Language skills (understanding instruction and communicating ideas)
  • Executive skills (organization, planning, impulse control, flexibility)
  • Learning and memory
  • Visuo-spatial skills (the ability to find your way around in a new environment, recognize patterns and put things together)
  • Motor skills (dexterity, coordination)
  • Behavioral and emotional functioning

Who can benefit from a neuropsychological assessment?

Referrals to a neuropsychologist are often made by healthcare professionals or educators and can be useful in determining treatment and management approaches, such as classroom placement for students who have learning issues. Some of the common reasons a patient or student is referred to The Clinic for a neuropsychological assessment are:

  • Memory problems (including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Dyslexia or learning problems
  • Trouble concentrating (including ADHD)
  • Changes in behavior or emotional control
  • Difficulty with solving problems
  • Trouble communicating or understanding others 
  • Difficulty finding the right words
  • Recent brain injury, tumor or stroke

What is involved in a neuropsychological assessment?

The initial interview is dedicated to establishing initial assessment and treatment goals and permits our clinicians to answer questions you or your family member may have about our services. Next, you will be asked to complete a series of tasks designed to assess cognitive skills such as: attention, learning and memory, processing speed, language, visuospatial abilities, and executive functioning. Some tasks will be easy; others will be more complex. The assessment may be scheduled over one or more appointments. Following testing, the clinician will analyze the results, compare them to results from people who are like you in significant ways, and prepare a comprehensive report. Finally,  your provider will meet with you to review the assessment results and offer recommendations.

What preparation does a neuropsychological assessment require?

Get a good night’s sleep before the examination, and be sure to bring any hearing devices or eyeglasses you may need to complete the tasks, as well as, any previous test results and related medical records. Also, coordinate medication dosage times with our neuropsychologist prior to the examination. You will probably find the examination interesting and the detailed results gathered will contribute to your care.

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