Neuropsychological Services for Adults and Older Adults

The core of neuropsychological testing is to measure areas such as intellectual ability, executive functioning (which includes attention, planning, organization, initiation, and self-monitoring), visual and auditory perception, language, memory, motor skills, and social/emotional functioning. Mount Sinai provides special care to adults with memory disorders and a range of neurodegenerative diseases. Cognitive decline may be due to neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias), as well as psychiatric disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety).

To determine how the brain and nervous system functioning affect a patient, we conduct an extensive evaluation using neuropsychological testing. As a proactive or preventive measure, we also offer baseline cognitive assessments for those who have no symptoms, but want to track their cognitive functioning yearly for early signs of cognitive decline. 

In order to make a correct diagnosis and develop the most effective therapies, treatment starts with a thorough cognitive assessment. Our evaluations help us personalize the strategies and services to each patient’s individual needs. We provide a detailed report for the patient and referring physicians, which contains information about the patient’s functioning as well as, recommendations related to treatments, referrals, and other follow-up care.

The Evaluation and Testing Process

A neuropsychological evaluation includes an interview with the neuropsychologist and the administration of a comprehensive battery of standardized written and verbal tests. Our interview and testing typically takes three to four hours and includes measures of intellectual functioning as well as the assessment of mood, behavior, and stress levels. Neuropsychological testing measures an adult patient’s strengths and weaknesses in the following areas:

  • Attention
  • Behavior
  • Executive functioning
  • Intelligence
  • Language
  • Memory
  • Mood and personality
  • Processing speed
  • Visual spatial functioning

The testing we offer includes specialized clinical assessments of the following issues:

  • Memory evaluations related to mild cognitive impairment (MCI), dementia, or normal aging
  • Baseline cognitive functioning
  • Dementia assessments for conditions such as, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular disease, frontotemporal disease (FTD), and Lewy body disease
  • Cognitive changes following a medical illness (e.g., cardiac issues, stroke, NPH) or surgery
  • Language disturbance
  • Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD-Adult)
  • Cognitive disorder in psychiatric conditions, such as depression
  • Cognitive changes due to substance abuse
  • HIV-associated dementia

Results and Recommendations

The neuropsychological evaluation provides a thorough cognitive profile of a patient. We produce a written report that is shared with the referring physician. The report includes the cognitive profile (test results), detailed recommendations, objective information about the patient’s functioning, and specific issues that may be helped with therapeutic intervention.

Once we have the results, we may refer the patient to specialists for follow-up care. Our recommendations might include the following:

  • Consultation with a psychopharmacologist to treat depression or other psychiatric disorders with medication
  • Lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, socialization)
  • Evaluation of the patient’s ability to drive due to cognitive and spatial difficulties
  • Meeting with a social worker to determine the appropriate level of home care
  • Information about clinical research trials related to memory, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease conducted at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai