When is adult testing necessary? and what kinds of testing batteries are available?
The type of testing needed for adults differs according to your compliant or your referring treatment specialist. Most common problems are difficulties with attention, concentration, memory and/or depression. Sometimes people will share that they have always had problems with attention concentration including multiple tasking at home and at work and/or studying. They will seek testing because they want to know what this challenge is about. Others will complain that they and their families are noticing a worrisome decline in their mental abilities.
Executive Function Testing / Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderEvaluation
Executive function testing assists in determining verbal, visual and fine motor attentional abilities, assists in the diagnosis of Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and helps determine if there is a need for memory testing. Some questions which executive function testing can answer are: Is there evidence for ADHD? If so what kind and how might it affect the ability to engage in planning and prioritizing personal and professional goals? What is the ability to remember new information while performing complex tasks? and what is the ability to self-monitor and evaluate performance? as well as the ability to resist the urge to say or to do something and take time to think before acting? Adult ADHD is characterized by inattention more than by hyperactivity. Contrary to common belief children don't grow out of ADHD. They develop coping skills which may need to be revisited throughout the life span.
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or Dementia due Alzheimer's Disease (AD) Evaluations
It is critical to diagnose both conditions as early as possible. AD is a slow progressive disease and both medications and therapy interventions may be very helpful in slowing its progression.
§ Mild Cognitive Impairment(MCI) due to AD is a pre-dementia stage of AD that include cognitive decline symptoms that are not dementia which require an evaluation by a clinician.
- People with MCI have mild problems performing complex functional tasks such as balancing a checkbook. They will also be slower and less effective.
- Changes from previous level of abilities in at least one of the following cognitive areas is required for the MCI diagnosis: memory, executive function, attention , language and visual-spatial skills as well as the ability to learn and retain new information. Specialized cognitive tests are needed to statistically evaluate MCI.
- Although laboratory tests are necessary to help understand what is happening there is no one laboratory test that can diagnose MCI. Once testing impressions suggest that the clinical and cognitive symptoms are consistent with that associated with MCI-AD, the treating physician may rule out other systemic or brain diseases that could account for the decline in cognition. (Click here for more information)
§ Dementia due Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is considered when medical and testing results support the existence of dementia of the AD type.
- The initial and most prominent cognitive decline is in one or more of the following: Problems learning and recalling recently learned information. There are usually also evident problems with word-finding, recognition of objects and faces, impaired reasoning, judgment, and problem solving as well as personality changes. Specialized cognitive tests are needed to evaluate the condition and laboratory tests are also necessary in order to establish what kind of dementia is happening. (Click here for more information).
Psychological Screen or Evaluation is needed in order to
1) ensure that attention, and or MCI-AD symptoms are related to AD and not a results of depression, and
2) provide referrals and recommendations in order to help the person cope with what is happening to them.
What To Expect Before And Following Testing.
- Confidentiality is always maintained. Information about you is not shared without your written consent.
- A telephone consult with no charge in which we will discuss the need for testing as well as how to prepare for testing.
- An initial intake
- Gathering information from multiple sources (e.g. spouse) -- with permission.
- Testing meetings with breaks (individualized number of sessions and duration).
- Feedback session.
- Full report, including a review of the difficulties, the testing results, practical recommendations and referrals.