Neuropsychologists and Brain Health

Fadi Tayim, PhD, Division Chief of Neuropsychology at the Clinical Neuroscience Institute, answers frequently asked questions about the many ways neuropsychologists can assess brain function and health.

What other disease processes does a neuropsychologist work with?

Dr. Fadi Tayim discusses the range of conditions that neuropsychologists can measure and assess. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

What other disease processes does a neuropsychologist work with?

A neuropsychologist can see a variety of disease processes from Parkinson's disease to Alzheimer's type dementia to head injuries, epilepsy, brain tumor, any disease process of the brain, a neuropsychologist can asses. Typically, what we do is we have a standard battery of tests that we then add or adjust depending on the disease process.

For example in Parkinson's disease, it's more challenging to do the fine motor tasks so we can augment that, whereas in traumatic brain injury for a younger person they typically have more intact motor functions and we can assess using maybe more rigorous measures.

If a person comes in with Alzheimer's type dementia, we can have a more memory-heavy battery because that is the primary feature of that disease category. With epilepsy or brain tumors where really the more eloquent, fine functions are detrimental, that can be effective through surgery. It's important to have maybe a lengthier battery, which we provide here at the Neuroscience Institute. A more comprehensive battery gets at the disease process in terms of predicting how a patient will do in recovery, how they're doing at that point in time and other benefits in terms of functionality that they can see after kind of a procedure or treatment moving forward.

   

A neuropsychologist can see and assess patients with any disease process of the brain, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's-type dementia, head injuries, epilepsy and brain tumors. Usually we run a standard battery of tests and then add or adjust additional tests or imaging depending on the disease process.

For example, with Parkinson's disease, it's more challenging for a patient to do the fine motor tasks, so we can augment that. With a traumatic brain injury in a younger person, they typically have more intact motor functions and we can assess that using more rigorous measures.

If a person comes in with Alzheimer's-type dementia, we can use tests that focus more on memory because that is the primary feature of that disease category.

With epilepsy or brain tumors, the more eloquent, fine functions may be damaged and often can be effectively treated with surgery.

It's important to complete a lengthier battery of tests, like what we provide here at the Clinical Neuroscience Institute. A more comprehensive evaluation gets at the disease process in terms of predicting how a patient will do in recovery, how they're doing at that point in time and other benefits they might gain (in terms of functionality) from specific procedures or treatments moving forward.

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Source: Fadi Tayim, PhD, Clinical Neuroscience Institute; American Psychological Association; American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology