Neuropsychology is the study of how the brain works, especially relating to memory, concentration and coordination. Affinity Health System offers neuropsychology testing services for adults, adolescents and children in Northeast Wisconsin.
Doctors recommend neuropsychology testing when a patient has problems involving:
- short-term memory
- learning new information
- keeping information in memory
- visual skills
- problem-solving, planning, judgment, comprehension
- emotional changes related to brain function
Symptoms include a change in concentration, organization, reasoning, memory, language, perception, coordination or personality.
Tests and Procedures
An MRI or CAT scan and neuropsychology test measure the structure and function of your brain.
A neuropsychology test consists of interviews and testing. During the interview, doctors ask about symptoms, medical history, medications and other factors. Testing involves answering questions on paper and on a computer.
Affinity Medical Group - Appleton
1531 Madison Center
Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Why have I been referred?
Doctors will usually recommend testing when a patient has symptoms or problems involving memory or thinking. Examples of symptoms include a change in concentration, organization, reasoning, memory, language, perception, coordination or personality. These symptoms could be due to a medical, neurological, psychological or genetic cause. Testing will help your doctor understand your situation.
What is assessed?
Typical neuropsychology tests will measure:
- general intellect
- higher-level thinking skills (e.g., sequencing, reasoning, problem solving)
- attention and concentration
- learning and memory
- visual-spatial skills (e.g., perception)
- motor and sensory skills
- mood and personality.
Some abilities may be measured in more detail than others, depending on your needs.
How are test scores used to understand my situation?
Your test scores will be compared to scores from people who are like you in important ways. By using database scores from large groups of healthy people for comparison, the neuropsychologist can judge whether or not your scores are normal for your age and educational background. Your overall pattern of test scores will also help to determine if you have experienced a change in certain abilities. How you go about solving the various problems and answering questions during the test will be noted as well. Using these methods, the neuropsychologist can identify your strengths and weaknesses.
What will the results tell me?
Test results can be used to understand your situation in a number of ways.
- Testing can point out weaknesses in certain areas. It can detect mild memory and thinking problems that might not be obvious without testing. For example, testing can help determine whether memory changes are caused by the normal aging process or by a neurological problem. Testing might also be used to determine if memory and thinking problems are related to a medical condition such as diabetes, metabolism issues, infection or alcoholism.
- Testing can also help determine if a problem is related to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or depression. Your doctor can use the results of a neuropsychology tests along with the results of other tests, such as a CAT scan, MRI scan and blood tests, to diagnose these conditions.
- Sometimes testing is used to establish a “baseline,” or record a person’s skills before there is any problem. That way, later changes to memory or thinking can be measured very objectively.
- Testing can be used to plan treatments by identifying what problems to work on and how. For example, test results can help to plan and monitor rehabilitation or to follow the recovery of skills after a stroke or traumatic brain injury.
- Studies have shown how scores on specific tests relate to everyday skills, such as managing money, driving, or readiness to return to work. Your results will help your doctors understand what problems you may have in everyday life. This will help guide planning for assistance or treatment.