Neuropsychology Clinic

Who Should Undergo a Neuropsychological Evaluation?

Neuropsychological services can be useful for many individuals with known or suspected brain dysfunction. Many conditions can affect brain functioning, including general medical conditions, neurological disease, and neuropsychiatric disease. Disorders may be developmental/genetic, acquired (e.g., concussions, traumatic brain injury), or of unknown etiology.

We routinely provide neuropsychological evaluation for individuals with:

Areas of Expertise

In addition to providing neuropsychological evaluations to adults with a wide range of problems and diseases, Stanford neuropsychologists specialize in assessment of the following groups of patients:

 

Memory Disorders. Neuropsychological evaluation can help to differentiate between normal aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and dementia. Results from the evaluation can be helpful in understanding the causes of memory and related functional decline. The neuropsychologists are part of the Stanford Center for Memory Disorders faculty and work closely with the neurologists to assist with diagnostic clarification and treatment planning.

Epilepsy. Correct identification and removal of the seizure focus is critical to the success of epilepsy surgery for patients with medically intractable epilepsy. The neuropsychological evaluation is used to provide independent measures of brain function to determine concordance with other pre-surgical neurodiagnostic findings (EEG, MRI, MEG, and PET) for isolating the seizure focus. The neuropsychological evaluation is also used to determine level of performance for issues surrounding post-operative outcome, emotional adjustment, and return to work and school. The neuropsychologists work directly with the Stanford Comprehensive Epilepsy Center for each individual patient. Stanford Epilepsy Center

Movement Disorders. Patients who are candidates for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery undergo neuropsychological evaluation to help determine their candidacy for surgery. The neuropsychologists are part of the Stanford Movement Disorders Center team and consult directly with the other neurology and neurosurgical faculty. Neuropsychological evaluation helps to predict post-surgical cognitive and behavioral outcome, identify cognitive and behavioral deficits that can be present in movement disorders, and track the cognitive and emotional effects of medical and surgical treatments longitudinally.

Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion. Both mild and more severe traumatic brain injuries can affect mental abilities, behavior, and emotions. Depression is a common reaction to brain injury. We perform neuropsychological assessments to evaluate the effects of trauma to the brain. We document level of recovery to assist with treatment planning, and to determine readiness to return to work and other life activities. In addition to providing services to the community at large, we conduct neuropsychological evaluations for patients with sports-related concussions including members of the San Francisco 49ers, Stanford Cardinal football team, and other Stanford sports teams.

Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis can affect cognition, behavior, and mood. Neuropsychological assessment is provided to help identify and characterize an individual's cognitive strengths and weaknesses. The evaluation contributes to treatment planning, and patient and family goal setting. Repeated assessments can be done to evaluate changes in mental functioning over time. The neuropsychologists provide services as a member of the Stanford Multiple Sclerosis Center.

Stroke. Patients who have suffered a stroke or cerebrovascular event undergo neuropsychological evaluations to establish a level of overall function and to help guide recommendations for neurocognitive rehabilitation, vocational adjustments, and social-emotional support as needed. A subset of patients, those with Moyamoya disease, are seen in conjunction with the Stanford Neurosurgery Department. These patients undergo a presurgical cognitive evaluation to establish a baseline prior to surgical treatment. They are also usually re-evaluated as part of post-surgical follow-up.


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