Brain Health

There is a plethora of scientific evidence to indicate that lifestyle habits affect brain function.

For example, exercise, good sleep hygiene, reduced stress, and chronic medical conditions that are well-managed have a positive impact on neurocognitive functioning. In contrast, poorly managed medical conditions such as high blood pressure is a common risk factor of vascular disease, including vascular dementia, and these conditions are typically marked by cognitive decline. The good news is that there is evidence that healthy lifestyle changes enhance neurocognitive functioning in many of these chronic conditions.

What is Clinical Neuropsychology?

Clinical neuropsychology is a specialty profession that focuses on brain function by using standardized tests to obtain objective information regarding an individual’s neurocognitive functioning. Many factors negatively impact thinking abilities such as:

  • Aging
  • Chronic Illnesses
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Mental Illness
  • Certain Medications
  • Chemotherapy

What is a Neuropsychological Assessment?

A neuropsychological assessment consists of an interview and testing. It is useful for diagnostic, treatment, and rehabilitation purposes. A neuropsychological evaluation typically involves assessing:

  • General Intellect
  • Executive Skills (e.g., reasoning, sequencing, problem solving)
  • Attention and concentration
  • Learning and Memory
  • Language
  • Visuospatial Skills (e.g., perception)
  • Sensory and Motor Skills
  • Mood and Personality

Some abilities are measured in more detail depending upon your needs.

A neuropsychological assessment is recommended when there are symptoms or complaints involving thinking skills, and/or changes in mood or behavior. Changes may involve a change in concentration, planning and organizational skills, reasoning, memory, language, perception, coordination, mood or personality. The change may be due to any number of medical, neurological, psychological, or genetic causes and an assessment will help understand your specific situation.

An assessment will identify strengths and weaknesses in specific cognitive abilities. It is sensitive to mild weaknesses that may not be obvious when carrying out daily living activities. An assessment will help determine whether memory changes are due to normal aging or if they reflect a neurological condition. Medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, seizures, alcoholism, infectious diseases, to name a few, can affect memory and thinking skills and an assessment will help identify problems. There is usually improvement and/or prevention of further worsening in neurocognitive functioning when these types of medical conditions are properly managed.

With respect to diagnosis, different illnesses produce different patterns of strengths and weaknesses in neurocognitive functioning. The results of an assessment are useful in determining which areas of the brain might be involved and what illnesses may be present. For example, an assessment can help differentiate between Alzheimer’s Disease, stroke, and depression.

Sometimes an assessment is performed to establish a “baseline” of the person’s memory and thinking skills before there is a problem. This baseline will help track changes in neurocognitive functioning very objectively.

Assessment results are used to plan and/or monitor treatments based on the findings of strengths and weaknesses. For example, strengths may be used to compensate for weaknesses for rehabilitative purposes following a stroke or traumatic brain injury.

This assessment will provide a baseline measurement of one’s neurocognitive functioning and screen for possible impairment. This assessment is appropriate for people who do not have complaints or obvious symptoms regarding their memory and thinking abilities. The areas assessed include:

  • Language
  • Learning and Memory
  • Attention and Concentration
  • Speed of Information Processing
  • Visuospatial Skills
  • Executive Functioning

These results can be used to 1) track any changes over time, 2) detect early changes associated with medical conditions, including dementia (e.g., Alzheimer’s Disease), 3) be used as a reference for the possibility of a future brain injury or illness, and 4) identify areas that may be targeted for improvement.

The assessment includes:

  • An interview with the neuropsychologist
  • Formal testing by a qualified psychometrist
  • A written summary report of the results
  • A 30 minute feedback session with the neuropsychologist to discuss the findings.

The Cognitive Baseline Assessment will take approximately 3 hours.

This assessment is useful for people who have complaints and/or symptoms in their memory and thinking skills. This assessment is useful to assist in the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment recommendations. It will also help differentiate between normal age-related changes in brain function vs changes associated with neurological disease. It includes an in-depth assessment in the following areas:

  • Language
  • General Intellectual Functioning
  • Attention and Concentration
  • Speed of Information Processing
  • Learning and Memory
  • Executive Functioning
  • Visuospatial Skills (perception)
  • Upper Motor Dexterity
  • Mood
  • Personality

The assessment includes:

  • Review of medical records available to the neuropsychologist
  • An interview with the neuropsychologist
  • In-depth formal testing by a qualified psychometrist
  • A formal written report and feedback session

Depending upon the reason for the referral, the Neuropsychological Assessment is typically booked over two days and usually requires approximately 7 -9 hours.

Fees for Services

Cognitive Baseline Assessment $1,000
Neuropsychological Assessment $3,500
Educational Services $275 hr
Neuropsychological Consultation $275 hr

Read more about Clinical Neuropsychologist Dr. Lenora Brown
Learn more at Brown Assessments