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Summary: Neuropsychological Assessment

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  • College 01

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  • What are the basic skills that are important for neuropsychological assessments?

    • Determine for which disorders the neuropsychological tests that were introduced can be used
    • interpret the results of a neuropsychological assessment
    • Use the neuropsychological tests that were introduced in differential diagnostics.
    • Integrate and interpret the results of multiple neuropsychological tests. 
    • Critically judge the use of tests with regard to the manual, tests instructor, behaviour of the patient. 
  • What is the order and purpose of a neuropsychological assessment?

    1. diagnosis
    2. patient care and planning 
    3. treatment, planning, and remediation 
    4. treatment evaluation 
    5. Research
    6. forensic neuropsychology
  • Patient care and planning purpose?

    • Identifying cognitive strengths and weaknesses.
    • Identifying behavioural alterations.
    • Identifying personality characteristics 
  • Treatment planning and remediation purpose?

    • What is the most appropriate cognitive rehabilitation treatment?
  • Treatment evaluation purpose?

    • Did the treatment have an effect? [was it not caused by something else like time?]
  • Forensic neuropsychology purpose?

    • Is used for claims of injury and loss of function
    • In criminal cases 
      - Is there reason to suspect brain dysfunction that contributes to misbehaviour?
      - Is the defendant's mental capacity sufficient to stand trial? 
  • What is the diagnostic cycle?

    • The diagnostic process 
    1. Referral question
    2. Medical history.
    3. (Hetero)anamnesis
    4. Neuropsychological tests.
    5. Write report.


    [always create new hypothesis during the diagnostic cycle based on new knowledge and literature. It is important to be open for different explanations of behaviour]
  • What is evidence based medicine?

    Evidence based medicine (EBM) is based on:
    • Clinical judgement
    • Relevant scientific evidence 
    • Patients values and preferences  
  • What are interpretation errors?

    • The tendency to rely strongly on some results and to disregard others
    • Disregarding base rate of disorders 
      - neurologist specialized in alzheimer wil give the alzheimer diagnosis more easily 
    • confirmation bias
      - Looking for results that support the hypotheses 
    • Thinking that subjective complaints are objective disorders. 
  • What are the two classical approaches to neuropsychological assessments?


    • Psychometric approach 
      - Based on the Reitan-Halstead testbattery
    • Behavioural neurological approach 
      - Based on Luria
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