Neuropsychological Diagnosis, Testing, and Evaluations:
I treat individuals with central nervous system disorders including depression, anxiety (e.g., panic disorders), attentional and memory impairment, learning disabilities, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and dementia. I assess higher cognitive abilities (thinking, reasoning, categorizing, remembering, attending, perceiving, speaking, reading, and writing). I am often asked to provide neuropsychological and psychoeducational evaluations. Children whom I assess may have Attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorders (ADHD); learning disabilities; pervasive developmental disorders (autism, Asperger's syndrome); seizure disorders; and speech-language issues; Adolescents whom I assess may have conduct and oppositional disorders; substance use and abuse; (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), and Adults whom I assess may have cognitive and intellectual problems including the early detection of dementia and other brain disorders affecting higher cognitive abilities: Multiple sclerosis; epilepsy and seizure disorders; language disorders; mood and psychosomatic disorders; movement disorders (e.g., Parkinson's disease); and stroke and traumatic brain injury.
Depending on the referral question, I rely on a variety of tests and batteries to measure attention, working memory, visual and verbal memory, motor skills, visuospatial processing, visual and verbal abstract reason. To assess personality functioning in an adult, I may even administer different personality inventories, such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 RF.
A standard battery I often rely upon is the Meyers Neuropsychological Battery (MNB) which consists of commonly used neuropsychological tests. If I administer all of the appropriate tests and inventories in the MNB, I can then access and compare my findings and diagnostic hypotheses to an algorithm. This method of pattern matching does not crank out a diagnosis so much as raising different hypotheses to consider. In one study, pattern matching using the MNB algorithms achieved 90% accuracy when distinguishing between traumatic brain injury (TBI) post concussion symptoms and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The algorythm compares my hypothesis, or rather, educated best guess, based on my impressions and test results, with populations who share similar or different patterns and illnesses. For the most part, they are accurate and helpful but best used especially when there is a discrepancy. Using the algorythm affords me the opportunity to review, and, if necessary, administer other tests, or consult with specialists, to discern what the proper diagnosis is.