Neuropsychological testing uses standardized tests to determine a patient’s brain function in the memory and cognitive, executive functioning and decision making, and motor domains.
Hundreds of neuropsychological tests are available, and the combination of tests appropriate for a patient is determined by the neurologist, neurosurgeon, psychiatrist, or neuropsychologist to aid in a particular diagnosis. For example, in patients presenting with a brain tumor in the dominant temporal lobe, tests focusing on language, memory and executive function will be administered to assist in localization of the tumor’s spread and to aid in surgical planning.
Frequently abbreviated versions of neuropsychological tests will be performed during functional MRI scans to directly observe brain activation during particular cognitive functions. Other common neuropsychological test applications include screening tests and targeted test batteries to evaluate memory and cognitive decline in patients with suspected neurodegenerative disease.