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Washington DC VA Medical Center

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Neuropsychology Service

One of the services provided by the psychology service is neuropsychological evaluation. Such evaluations are usually requested for patients complaining of decreased cognitive functioning. Examples of perceived impairment include: short or long-term memory loss, attention problems, language impairment, perceptual difficulties, and problem-solving deficits. Evaluations are often used to clarify diagnosis, determine etiology of impairment, quantify functional loss, monitor changes in cognitive functioning as a result of treatment, and determine baseline level of cognitive functioning. Neuropsychological evaluation is often quite helpful in determining whether perceived cognitive problems are related to organic brain damage or psychiatric conditions. Furthermore, such evaluation is often essential in accurately diagnosing and differentiating various types of dementia. In addition to diagnostic impressions and description of functional loss and cognitive strengths, evaluation reports include detailed treatment recommendations. Patients in need of neuropsychological evaluation should be referred by their primary care physicians.

For answers to questions about the appropriateness of a specific referral or more generally about neuropsychological evaluation, please call the staff neuropsychologist (Judith W. Taylor, Ph.D. ext. 7254).

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