The Caregiver's Journey

Neuropsychological Evaluation

Tests, such as MRIs and CTs, can be used to examine the brain and its physical injuries.

There is a different test to figure out how well the brain is working (i.e., how well the person is thinking). This test is called a neuropsychological evaluation. A neuropsychologist conducts this test.

First, the neuropsychologist will learn as much as possible about the person and what he or she was like before the injury. He or she may ask you questions about your family member.

Next, the neuropsychologist will use a number of different tests to see how the person’s brain is working and where there are cognitive problems.

Testing may measure: 

  • Attention span 
  • Orientation 
  • Memory
  • Concentration 
  • Language (receptive and expressive) 
  • New learning
  • Mathematical reasoning 
  • Spatial perception 
  • Abstract and organizational thinking 
  • Problem solving 
  • Social judgment 
  • Motor abilities 
  • Sensory awareness 
  • Emotional characteristics 
  • General psychological adjustment

These tests can take several hours to complete.

Based on what the tests show, the healthcare team will develop treatment plans to improve cognitive problems. Occupational therapists (OTs) and speech language therapists are the members of the health care team who do this work.