Undergoing Neuropsychological Testing

Neuropsychological evaluation at UW Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin, is recommended for individuals who display difficulties or changes in thinking, memory, speech, personality, or other behaviors which are significant enough to interfere with their daily living or development.
When is referral appropriate?
Referrals are typically made to diagnose or rule out neurological conditions, and to describe their impact on a person's functioning. Some of the most common of these are traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors, psychiatric diagnoses, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and other dementing conditions.
The information collected by the neuropsychologist will go to your doctor who will use it to make future decisions about your health care.
With some conditions where patients are expected to experience more difficulty over time (e.g., Alzheimer's disease, brain tumors), a baseline evaluation may be useful in interpreting possible changes shown in future evaluations. A neuropsychological evaluation is helpful for tracking progress for patients undergoing rehabilitation. Neuropsychological evaluations can assist greatly in planning educational and vocational programs. They can also be invaluable for disability determination or for forensic (legal) purposes.
The types of behaviors that might indicate the need for an evaluation include:
  • Memory loss
  • Attention and concentration problems
  • Difficulty organizing and planning
  • Difficulty with multitasking
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Changes in spatial skills or vision
  • Difficulty writing or reading 
  • Disturbed thinking or confusion
  • Increased impulsivity



Once the testing is complete, the neuropsychologist will examine the results. Your tests are compared with the results of people of the same age who have a similar background. If you've been tested before, those scores will be compared to the new results. The neuropsychologist then writes a report. The report will be sent to the doctor who referred you within one to two weeks. Please call your doctor for the results.