What happens during a neuropsychological examination
Basics and importance of the investigation
Complaints about disorders of memory, about disorders with finding words or similar complaints on the part of mental performance are not uncommon in neurological diseases. In order to determine exactly what the individual difficulties are, in addition to the simple questions that are asked during the initial neurological examination, special test procedures have been developed which are similar to the generally known intelligence tests. The patient is asked to solve various tasks of increasing difficulty. The performance achieved can then be compared with the results that are achieved in larger groups of healthy control persons in order to determine whether, for example, the complained of memory disorders still correspond to the normal aging process or whether they are signs of a neurological disease.
The patient is in a quiet room with one or two examiners and should be as relaxed as possible. If someone wears glasses or uses a hearing aid, make sure that they are available, since you want to test the mental performance under the best conditions. The examiner sets individual tasks one after the other, which should be solved without time pressure. On the one hand, it can be a question of knowledge or the task of memorizing certain words that are queried again later. It can also be about reading out words and texts or using building blocks to follow up on certain patterns. Other tasks are to test the speed of reaction on a computer screen. Regular short breaks are taken between the individual tasks. The type and scope of the examination are very individually tailored to the respective complaints. The examination is risk-free, but is sometimes experienced as tiring or mentally exhausting. If you make us aware of this, we will take additional breaks. An investigation session lasts about 45 to 60 minutes.
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