Neuropsychology

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The Weill Cornell Neuropsychology Service is an outpatient program in the Department of Neurology. The service evaluates patients with awide variety of neurologic disorders affecting cognition.

The service provides comprehensive assessment of cognitive functioning using standardized tests. The evaluation includes assessment of intellectual abilities, language, attention, memory, problem solving, visuospatial functions and motor skills. Inpatient evaluations can also be arranged, if necessary. Both brief and comprehensive evaluations are available.

The Weill Cornell Neuropsychology Service offers evaluations which can be useful in differential diagnosis, establishing baseline level of cognitive functioning, patient care management and treatment planning. The results can provide objective information relating to an individual's potential for rehabilitation, return to work or ability to function independently.

Referrals for neuropsychological evaluation may be arranged by physicians, other health care professionals, the prospective patient or family members. Our network of referral services includes neurology, psychiatry, social work services, cognitive rehabilitation and occupational therapy.

Common Reasons for Referral:

  • Memory & Attention Problems
  • Dementia vs. Depression
  • Normal Aging vs. Early Dementia
  • Cognitive effects of toxic exposure, substance abuse or medications
  • Recovery of function (Head Injury, Stroke)
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Disability & Competency

Information for Patients:

What is a neuropsychological evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation involves testing that is sensitive to problems in brain functioning. Unlike neuroimaging such as CT or MRI scans, which show changes in the structure of the brian, or EEG, which can identify electrical abnormalities in the brain, neuropsychological assessment examines how well the brain is working when it performs certain cognitive functions (for example remembering)

Why have you been referred for a neuropsychological evaluation?
There are many reasons why you have been referred for a neuropsychological evaluation. Your health care provider may request an exam in effort to:

  • Evaluate possible brain dysfunction
  • Provide information for diagnosis
  • Define strengths & weaknesses
  • Document changes over time
  • Evaluate response to treatment
  • Determine the need for assistance with daily activities
  • Make recommendations relevant for your care & treatment planning

What tests are used?
The standardized tests used typically assess functioning in the following areas: attention, memory reasoning, problem solving, visuopatial skills, language, motor functions, academic skills, and emotional functioning. The types of tests that you will take depend upon the questions you and your doctor have. The tests are not invasive; that is, they do not involve attaching you to machines or using X-rays. Most of the tests will involve questions-and-answers, or working with materials on the table.

How long is the evaluation?
The length of the evaluation can range from 3-6 hours, and may be conducted over the course of two or more appointments.

What else do I need to know?
Bring all sensory aides (e.g., glasses, hearing aides), records from any prior cognitive testing and a list of current medications with you to the exam. Our office is wheelchair accessible; please notify us in advance of any special needs.

Clinical Neuropsychology Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program