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Neuropsychological Examination Compared with Other Examinations
Neuropsychological testing provides information regarding di-agnosis; cognitive, perceptual and motor capacities or deficits;
and treatment recommendations (Table 19.10). Experienced clini-cians use test data to determine the presence or absence of brain dysfunction, to localize the damage, and to establish the etiol-ogy (Milberg et al., 1996). Moreover, a comprehensive functional assessment can lead to neurologically meaningful subgroups of disorders (as in different types of developmental disorders, ver-bal and nonverbal) that may have relevance to treatment, such as in the application of different strategies of cognitive rehabilita-tion or school placement (Weinstein and Seidman, 1994).
All neuropsychological approaches assess some aspects of intelligence, reasoning and abstraction, attention (sustained and selective), “executive’’ and self-control functions (set shift-ing, planning and organizational capacity), learning and mem-ory (e.g., working memory, declarative), language, perceptual (i.e., auditory and visual) and constructional tasks, and sensory and motor functions. Comprehensive test batteries can be quite lengthy, because the human brain–behavior relationship is quite complex. Test data are interpreted in the context of many factors including the age, sex, education, and handedness of the patient.
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