Brain function is essential to a quality life, especially if you have had a stroke or severe accident. Being able to engage in normal daily activities, like going back to work or driving a car, is usually a significant concern for most patients.
Fortunately, you can always work with a Neuropsychologist neuropsychologist to address some of your concerns. These professionals look at how your brain functions and affects your skills and behaviour and use different tests during the diagnosis.
What Is a Neuropsychological Test?
A neuropsychological test is an evaluation involving cognitive behavioural therapy and electroconvulsive therapy to understand your brain’s functioning. The examination is usually comprehensive, testing a wide range of functions, including behaviour, language, intelligence, memory, and visuospatial.
Here are the functions or areas that the test addresses.
Illnesses, such as stroke and seizures, can alter a patient’s speaking and writing functions. Language-focused neuropsychological testing helps determine the parts of the language function a patient has lost and to what extent. This test determines whether you have a problem with speaking or writing.
Physical trauma can easily affect one’s intelligence. Intellectual neuropsychological tests are a reliable way to assess a patient’s intelligence that might be somehow affected by trauma, providing a differential diagnosis.
Doctors compare the results of the patient with those of healthy individuals with similar backgrounds when testing intelligence. This is because the doctor may need more than the results of an intelligence test to determine whether or not they have a good IQ.
Most people assume that memory is the only brain’s function, but memory has five different components, including procedural, episodic, short-term, and priming. Memory psychological tests may assess one or more of these areas of the memory to gauge a patient’s ability to remember.
In some neuropsychological tests, the doctor might decide to test visuospatial functioning. Every test covers three areas of cognition and how they are related to each other. These areas include visual perception, visual integration, and visual construction.
For example, the clock test will require the patient to draw an analogue clock from memory. The neuropsychologist will then assess the placement of the hands, numbers, and other elements.
5. Multiple Functions
Some neuropsychological tests evaluate multiple functions at once to determine whether the brain has been affected by certain behaviours. For example, the Cognistat test examines five areas, including language, reasoning, calculations, memory, and construction.
Dementia is a unique condition that needs a special diagnostic test. Dementia-specific neuropsychological is often conducted on individuals who have exhibited symptoms of dementia. A doctor may use the Dementia Rating Scale and the Clinical Dementia Rating to evaluate whether a patient has the disease or in what stage of development the patient is.
7. Executive Function
Executive function tests are used to assess the ability of an individual’s mind and body to perform tests such as planning, organising, and selective attention. The type of tests a doctor recommends varies depending on the cognitive functions the patient may have lost.
A certified neuropsychologist uses a variety of tests to determine the level of cognitive functioning that an individual has. The most important part of the diagnosis is determining the specific tests that can benefit a patient’s specific case. Practitioners typically break these tests into the above-discussed seven categories based on what functions they’re testing.