During a physical health exam, your doctor usually checks things like your blood pressure, weight, and heart rate. Since your brain is part of your physical body, it should also get occasional checkups. This is where neuropsychiatric testing, also known as neuropsychological testing, comes in.
MindPath Care Centers on Situs Court offers state-of-the-art technology, cognitive testing, and evaluation for individuals aged 10 years and up.
What is Neuropsychiatric Testing?
Neuropsychiatry combines neurology (the health of the brain and nervous system) with psychiatry (the study and treatment of mental health and behavior). Neuropsychiatry looks at how the physical health of your brain may affect your behavior and thinking.
Neuropsychiatry looks at behavioral and mental symptoms and considers whether a condition in the brain may be causing it. Neuropsychiatric testing helps clinicians understand your mindcare needs and determine the best treatment.
What does neuropsychiatric testing check?
Neuropsychiatric testing can check areas such as:
- Mood and emotional responses
- Problem-solving skills
- Language skills
- Sensorimotor skills (how you receive and respond to information from your physical senses)
Neuropsychiatric testing can help with both diagnosis and treatment of a cognitive, emotional, or psychological issue. One condition can show different symptoms in different people, or two different conditions may show similar signs and symptoms. With neuropsychiatric testing, providers can be better informed about how to treat conditions such as dementia, ADHD, developmental disabilities, seizures, and many other neurological and mood disorders.
What does neuropsychiatric testing involve?
At MindPath Care Centers, neuropsychiatric evaluation generally takes 6-8 hours to complete. The exact length depends on individual symptoms, needs, and other concerns. Issues such as fatigue or confusion may affect the length of the evaluation.
We recommend that you bring a few things with you to your evaluation:
- A complete list of all medications and over-the-counter supplements you take
- A list of any symptoms or concerns you are experiencing
- Snacks or a lunch
- Adults are encouraged (but not required) to bring a close friend, family member, or caregiver to the evaluation
- Minors under 18 years of age and adults who require assistance must bring a companion with them
Everyone who receives neuropsychiatric testing will first meet with the compassionate, experienced professionals at MindPath for a special evaluation. The initial evaluation will include asking about your medical history and reviewing any medical records and test results you or your loved one can provide. We may also ask about your symptoms and how they affect your daily living and, with your permission, request input from caregivers or other loved ones.
Once your mindcare provider has a medical history, he or she can recommend more specialized evaluation and testing. There are different types of neuropsychiatric testing:
- Answering questions with a pencil and paper
- Orally answering questions that the specialist asks you in the MindPath office
- Evaluations completed on a computer
- Devices that monitor and measure different types of brain functioning
- Additional brain imaging tests or lab testing
Our clinicians may recommend, but not require, the following services to get a better idea of your specific needs:
- Quantitative electroencephalogram (EEG), a test used to find problems related to the brain’s electrical activity
- Pharmacogenetic testing, which involves swabbing for cheek cells which are then sent to a lab for analysis to help choose the medication or other treatment that you are most likely to respond to
Some of these tests or devices can reveal if some brain circuits are not functioning normally, which can cause many emotional or behavioral symptoms.
Are there side effects to neuropsychiatric testing?
Neuropsychiatric testing does not have side effects the same way that medication or other testing may involve. In fact, one of the purposes of neuropsychiatric testing is to help find the best treatment for your specific symptoms and needs. This can actually help reduce the risk of side effects from medication and other treatments.
You may feel nervous before or during your first neuropsychiatric testing session–that is normal! It can also be tiring or challenging to complete some portions of the exam. You may find some questions uncomfortable or confusing. Keep in mind that this testing is meant to inform clinicians about possible causes of your symptoms and better understand your needs.
How can I or my loved one get started with neuropsychiatric testing?
Contact MindPath Care Centers at 877-876-3783, to schedule an appointment. You can also check out our lists of specialists who specialize in neuropsychiatric testing.
MindPath Care Centers believes that all individuals have the right to compassionate, thorough, personalized care. Your health and empowerment has been our priority since 1994, and we are committed to helping you improve and preserve your emotional, psychological, and social health.
With a robust, diverse network of over 150 experienced, professional mindcare providers, we can provide the best possible services for your unique, individual needs and situation.
Take the first step toward a richer, healthier life by calling us now or contacting us online to be matched with a specialist near you.
Director – Jenny Smith, MD
- MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School
- Residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Maria Karandikar, ANP-C
- DNP with honors at Duke University School of Nursing
- MSN in the Adult and Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Program from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with top honors and was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International