Neuropsychology Assessments

Neuropsychology is a specialised field of psychology concerned with the examination of brain behaviour relationships. Neuropsychologists use detailed interviewing, standardised psychometric assessments and other relevant data (such as brain imaging, pathology etc.) to assess, diagnose and treat conditions that affect the brain.

What is a clinical neuropsychologist?

Clinical neuropsychologists assess and treat people with brain disorders that affect memory, learning, attention, language, reading, problem-solving and decision-making.

Clinical neuropsychologists have advanced skills in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning of disorders and contexts across one’s lifespan. They are trained to understand the cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects of a wide range of brain conditions. Clinical neuropsychologists understand brain structure, function and dysfunction, and the effects of multiple factors on cognitive, behavioural and emotional functions.

What does a neuropsychology assessment involve?

Neuropsychological assessments examine many aspects of cognition (thinking) including attention, language and verbal abilities, visuospatial processing, speed of thinking, memory, reasoning and problem-solving. The assessment gives the neuropsychologist a cognitive profile of strengths and weaknesses which they then combine with relevant history and other information in order to determine the presence (or absence) of atypical cognitive functioning.

Why are neuropsychology assessments helpful?

For a number of reasons! Neuropsychological assessment can provide diagnostic clarification for many conditions that are difficult (or impossible) to detect on neuroimaging alone (especially in the early stages of a disease).

Neuropsychological assessment can also help with differential diagnosis. That is, it can help to determine whether behavioural and/or cognitive decline is more likely due to an emerging neurodegenerative process (such as Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia) or a reversible factor such as mood (depression and anxiety), illness or medication.  It can also help to determine the presence and severity of an acquired brain injury (i.e. following a motor vehicle accident, workplace accident or assault).

Neuropsychological assessment is helpful to diagnose and characterise cognitive impairment due to:

How long do neuropsychology assessments take and what do I need to bring?

Most assessments typically take 3 to 4 hours to complete, with breaks offered as required. If you require glasses or hearing aids, you should bring them with you. It can also be helpful if a family member or friend who knows you well accompanies you for the first part of the assessment (interview and history taking), though they will not be able to stay once the standardised assessment begins.

How much does an assessment cost and does Medicare or private health provide any assisstance?

The cost of the assessment is based on the Australian Psychological Society’s National Schedule of Recommended Fees for the current financial year. Most assessments typically cost approximately $1800 and rebates are not currently available under Medicare. Private insurers usually cover some of the cost, though the amount depends on the insurer and level of cover.

Assessment and Report Information

Neuropsychologists: Caitlin Foley and Sigrid Denehey
Referral: Required
Clients: 16 years + Referrals for children may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Asssessment Time: approx 3-4 hours
Assessment and Report Costs: $1800 +