Who will benefit from a neuropsychological assessment?
A neuropsychological assessment may be helpful when a person is suspected or known to have suffered a brain injury and changes in thinking or behaviour have been recognized.
The people with the following conditions are often referred for assessment:
Traumatic Brain Injury,
Brain Infections (Meningitis, Encephalitis),
Early Onset Dementia,
Dementia (Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Dementia, Fronto-Temporal Dementia, Huntington’s Disease),
Global Developmental Delay,
Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder),
Drug and Alcohol Disorders,
Psychiatric Disorders (Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia)
A neuropsychological assessment can assist with:
Inform, correct or confirm diagnoses, differentiate between different neurological conditions (eg., the different types of dementia), and differentiate neurological disorders from psychiatric disorders, or organic from non-organic conditions.
2. Management Advice
Outline a person’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses and the severity of any impairments, and how these may impact on everyday function. This information may be used in clarifying vocational, recreational or accommodation issues (eg., Can the person return to live independently? Can the individual return to work or driving?).
3. Rehabilitation Strategies and Cognitive Remediation
Information on a person’s level of cognitive function can be utilised to develop strategies or interventions which best optimise that person’s intact cognitive skills together with appropriate environmental manipulation in order to enhance quality of every day living. In addition, the brain has some capacity to ‘re-wire’ itself and therefore suggestions regarding neuroplasticity and cognitive remediation on how to strengthen the brain are also be provided.
4. Family or Carer Counselling and Education
Education given to carers/family member/Human resource departments regarding the cognitive changes that have occurred and how these will affect the person’s everyday level of function. This information can reduce the distress and frustration of family members and carers. This information also assist organisations in relation to workers' compensation matters and capacity for workplace integration.
5. Monitoring Progress
At times, it is useful to obtain a baseline assessment of a person’s cognitive capacities if there is uncertainty as to the diagnosis or treatment efficacy (eg., pre and post removal of brain tumour/ pre trial of medication). This is particularly important in clarifying the diagnosis of a dementia. In degenerative disorders, serial assessment is necessary to answer evolving management issues such as legal competency.
6. Legal Competency
At times, a neuropsychological assessment of a person’s cognitive capacities is required for Guardian and Administration Tribunal hearings.
This assessment can help determine whether a client has the cognitive capacity to independently sign a will and testament, manage financial affairs and make rational decisions and judgments regarding accommodation, financial or medical treatment issues.
other services include CLINICAL SUPERVISION and intervention
Deidre is an approved supervisor for Clinical Neuropsychology and all other levels of psychological practice (4+2, 5+1 etc) with the Psychology Board of Australia (PBA). She has supervised both provisional psychologists and registered psychologists completing their post graduate qualifications in areas of specialist endorsement. Deidre enjoys the collaborative process that supervision provides and the supervisory alliance and is committed to open and informed feedback supervision.
NQNS now provides Neurofeedback therapy as an adjunct intervention to treat clients with a wide range of neurological, psychological and physiological disorders. Neurofeedback, also known as EEG (electroencephalogram) biofeedback, is a therapeutic intervention that provides immediate feedback from a computer-based software program that assesses a client’s brainwave activity. The program then uses sound or visual signals to retrain these brain signals. By responding to this process, clients learn to regulate and improve their brain function and to alleviate symptoms of various neurological and psychological disorders.
Over the past 20 years, neuroscience has repeatedly shown how the brain is adaptable and capable of plasticity. This technology and software provides direct training of brain function and guides the brain towards optimal adjustment and self-regulation. Neurofeedback therapy tends to manage or regulate the workings of the brain so it functions in a healthier, more synchronised manner.
Neurofeedback therapy may be used for the following conditions: ASD, children and adults with ADHD, Traumatic Brain Injury, Learning Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Substance Abuse, Tics, and Headaches/Migraines. It may also be used for peak performance training for professional athletes and for work performance enhancement.
For more information regarding Neurofeedback, a comprehensive bibliography of research can be found here: http://www.isnr.net/resources/comprehensive-bibliography.cf
Other interventions include psychoeducation, adjustment counselling post cerebral events, cognitive rehabilitation/remediation, positive behaviour support programs, and brain health/lifestyle education.