Patients are referred for neuropsychological evaluation by medical doctors to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of diseases and disorders that impact brain function. For those treating children and adolescents, it can assist in determining the reason(s) for a child's delay in development; difficulties with school performance; problems with attention, work productivity, and disorganization; and emotional and social functioning.
In cases of brain injury, dementia and other neurological diseases/disorders, neuropsychological testing can assist by establishing a baseline of neuropsychological functioning against which to compare later test results. Use of serial testing provides objective data for tracking the course of a condition. Similarly, serial testing can be utilized to assess the impact of surgical intervention (i.e., pre/post surgical testing).
Neuropsychological testing assesses how the brain is functioning and these results may be used in conjunction with other "functional" studies, such as PET, SPECT, or functional MRI, or with structural brain imaging, such as CAT scans and MRI to assist in the diagnostic process. More importantly, the results of the evaluation, result in specific recommendations designed to enhance daily function.