The neuropsychologist gathers information from various sources to determine a diagnosis and treatment plan:
What is the Time Required for an Evaluation?
The time required depends on the problem being assessed. In general, a few hours are needed to complete the assessment. If necessary, the evaluation may require two sessions or more.
History and physical by the nurse navigator
Initial diagnostic interview by the neuropsychologist
Feedback session to explain the results and start treatment plans
The typical neuropsychological assessment will involve administration of standardize measures in the following areas:
Insurance coverage varies greatly depending on your insurance plan benefits. Some portion of the evaluation is usually covered. We will do our best to obtain prior authorization, but you are responsible for copays and unpaid portions.
If you need a referral from your primary care physician, please contact your doctor.
Please bring your physician’s prescription for the evaluation.
Get a good night’s sleep
Try to eat a decent breakfast
Take all medications unless you are directed to do otherwise
If you use corrective eyeglasses, contact lenses or hearing aides, bring them
Bring copies of available medical records or previous testing
Dress comfortably and bring a light snack and beverage
Bring your insurance cards and identification
In order to send neuropsychological reports to your health care providers, please bring necessary contact information
Bring copies of any medical-relates records such as a previous neurodiagnostic evaluation, brain-imaging reports (MRI or CT scans), laboratory studies, etc.
The evaluation will help you answer questions like:
The results from the evaluation will help your medical care by:
If a patient has been referred, neuropsychological evaluations are requested specifically to help doctors and other professionals understand how the different areas and systems of the brain are working.
A physician usually recommends testing when there are symptoms or complaints involving memory or thinking. This may be indicated by a change in concentration, organization, reasoning, memory, language, perception, coordination, or personality. The change may be due to any number of medical, neurological, psychological, or genetic causes. Testing will be helpful in understanding the specific situation.
Are you over 50 and worried about memory changes? If so, you're not alone. A 2014 Brain Health Study showed that 70% of Americans ages 45-79 describe their memory as much worse or somewhat worse versus five years ago. Ninety-one percent of that group believe middle-aged and older adults should have their brain health checked regularly.
“We know that many adults worry about the forgetfulness that comes with aging, and fear it might be something more serious,” says Cogniciti’s President Michael Meagher. “In fact, the Brain Health Study showed that dementia/Alzheimer’s ranks as the second most feared disease in America behind cancer.”
The company says that while it’s not a diagnostic tool, Cogniciti, the online assessment is like a “temperature check for the mind” that will help a person determine the right time to discuss memory concerns with their doctor. The aim is to reassure the vast majority of adults who are healthy (the “worried well”) and nudge the small percentage of people who scored below normal to get checked by their doctor.
"Getting checked early is the best way to rule out other health problems such as stress and depression that could be causing cognitive issues," said Dr. Angela Troyer, program director of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Health at Baycrest Health Sciences, and a lead member of the research team that developed the test. "If it turns out you do have a significant problem with your memory, then early diagnosis will help you maintain your cognitive health and independence for as long as possible, and enable you and your family to plan for the care and support you'll need in the future."
If you are in the ages 50-79 bracket, worried about your memory changes and whether you need to see a doctor, Cogniciti is a free online brain health test developed by the memory experts at Baycrest Health Sciences that will help you with that decision. The test – co-developed by the brain health solutions company Cogniciti Inc. (owned by Baycrest and partner MaRS Discovery District) – takes about 20 minutes to complete and is available to the public on their website.
The game-like tests tap into functions such as memory and attention, which are affected by aging and brain disease. You can take the test on a desktop or laptop computer at home (with internet access), and receive an overall score of your cognitive health immediately after you finish. Your confidential testing information is protected. However, be sure to make note of your score and account login information if you would like to share your results with Dr. Rondeau or your primary care physician.
“If you are concerned that you (or a friend or relative) may be developing Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, you are urged to discuss this with your primary care physician. He or she may want to refer you to a dementia specialist, such as a neurologist, neuropsychiatrist, geriatrician, or neuropsychologist.
However, we are able to determine whether an older person is at increased risk for having dementia based on your responses to a few questions.”
Alzcast.org, in partnership with The Copper Ridge Institute (TCRI), a not-for-profit organization affiliated with The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, conducts research on care issues and the development of educational programs to train family and health care professionals on best practices in dealing with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.