I’m Chris Brasure, and today, I want to visit with you about what a neuropsychological examination is and whether or not a traumatic brain injury patient should get one.
A neuropsychological exam is a special kind of process that has been developed to determine what kind of injury a TBI patient may have. It can determine whether there is a problem with memory or whether there are cognitive deficits. So let’s break that down a little bit more.
What is a neuropsychologist
A neuropsychological exam is given by a neuropsychologist. And a neuropsychologist is a specialized type of psychologist who studies the relationship between the brain and behavior. He or she is able to diagnose and evaluate a traumatic brain injury patient’s deficits and recommend some therapies to help the patient.
What happens during a neuropsychological exam
Here’s what happens during a neuropsychological exam. First, the neuropsychologist will gather relevant historical information on the TBI patient including their background, educational history, and family relationships.
Second, the neuropsychologist will go through the medical records to get a medical history of the TBI patient. Then, the neuropsychologist will often interview the TBI patient. And frequently, the neuropsychologist will also interview family members who are often better historians of what has happened to the TBI patient.
Next, the neuropsychologist will give some standardized tests to the TBI patient. These can involve oral questions or written questions, possibly presented on a computer. The standardized testing can determine what deficits or what impairments the TBI patient has.
The results of the testing
After the actual testing, the neuropsychologist will take all of that data and interpret it in a pre-standardized way. Finally, they’ll tell the patient and the family members what deficits the patient has. They’ll also tell tem what is wrong with their memory, academic skills, and sensory motor skills.
Recommendations for dealing with the patient’s problems
And then, very importantly, they will present ways and make recommendations for dealing with the problems that the TBI patient is suffering from.
I have had numerous clients undergo neuropsychological testing. And it has proven to be very helpful even when the MRI shows that the patient’s brain is normal. And so, I would encourage people if they feel like they or loved ones have symptoms, if a TBI patient has symptoms, to try to get a neuropsychological evaluation.
The testing can take all day
The tests will usually take a long time. You should just set aside a whole day for them. And if you are the loved one bringing a TBI patient in for testing, bring something to read and plan on being unavailable all day because, as I said, the testing will take an entire day. I hope this has been helpful. And I hope you’ll stay safe and healthy.
By Chris Brasure
Brasure Law Firm, PLLC was founded by Chris Brasure in 2006. His legal accomplishments are diverse and numerous. He is a fellow with the Texas Bar Foundation, was a delegate in the American Bar Association House of Delegates and holds a BA in political science and speech communication from Baylor University. He then went on to obtain his law degree from Baylor University Law School. Chris believes that education is absolutely critical to one’s success, so his firm now offers The Brasure Law Firm Scholarship to give back to the community and to help students who are seeking to pursue a higher education.