The first step to learning to manage your cognitive condition is to undergo a neuropsychological evaluation with a licensed mental health professional. Consisting of a personal interview and a battery of written and oral tests and questionnaires, our neuropsychological evaluations allow our doctors and psychometrists (mental health workers certified in administering and scoring psychological tests) to evaluate the patient’s mood, cognition, and any mental health symptoms they may be experiencing.
We work with a wide range of mental health conditions including (but not limited to):
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a common type of dementia affecting millions of aging individuals. This irreversible, progressive brain disorder is characterized by memory loss, confusion, and a continuous decline in thinking and cognitive skills. At NSG, we work with the patient and their caregivers to help them better understand and deal with this condition.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) refers to the beginning stages of a measurable decline in cognitive functioning with symptoms indicating the eventual progression to dementia. Through cognitive testing, our doctors are able to assist families who are trying to determine if the cognitive declines they see in a loved one represent normal age-related changes associated with healthy aging versus a more significant change, such as MCI, which places an individual at increased risk for converting to Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly reduced or cut off (usually by a blockage in the arteries). The symptoms of a stroke can be easily recognized by the acronym FAST (face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, time to call 911). Because a stroke can occur in many areas throughout the brain, and because different parts of the brain are associated with different functions (e.g., language, memory, abstract thinking), a neuropsychological evaluation will determine which cognitive abilities have changed, as well as determining which cognitive abilities remain strengths. Knowing this will allow for targeted rehabilitation and will provide families with important information related to outcome.
Dementia is an umbrella term used to refer to disease-related decline in memory, thinking, and other cognitive abilities. Examples of common types of dementia include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease. However, it is also important to understand that there are other types of dementias which occur less frequently and that these disorders do not follow identical disease trajectories. The neuropsychologists at NSG have decades of clinical experience working through complex cases, frequently requiring the provider to distinguish between commonly occuring dementias versus infrequently occurring conditions. Knowing this will allow for targeted rehabilitation and will provide families with important information related to outcome.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that mainly impacts the central nervous system. The symptoms of this progressive disorder most commonly present slowly over the years and include tremors, problems with balance and walking, and other issues with movement and muscle control. Both cognitive and psychiatric changes are common in PD but teasing apart the contributions of each remains challenging. In fact, assessing for depression in PD remains complex as there are many shared symptoms associated with each disorder. A neuropsychological assessment is best suited for this purpose, allowing other physicians to target treatments and provide patients and families important information related to outcome.
Brain damage caused by a sudden blow or external impact is referred to as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These injuries can result from such incidents as a car crash, sports injury, assault and battery, and more. Doctors often refer patients for a neuropsychologist evaluation to assess the extent of damage and any cognitive issues and symptoms the patient may be experiencing following a TBI. Outcome following a traumatic brain injury is primarily related to the injury severity, with most individuals experiencing a mild traumatic brain injury (e.g., concussion) having symptoms which fully resolve within two months. If you have persisting symptoms following a mild traumatic brain injury, or if you have experienced a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury, our NSG neuropsychologists are able to capture these changes and work with your providers to map a course of recovery.
As NFL BAP-approved examiners, our neuropsychologists are highly experienced in working with patients suffering from sports concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Commonly seen in individuals that regularly suffer from repeated head injuries (such as athletes, military veterans, and abuse victims), the symptoms of this neurodegenerative condition initially start as behavioral and mood problems and progress to a decline in other mental faculties.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by sudden and recurring seizures. During these seizures, patients may suffer from convulsions, loss of consciousness, abnormal behavior, and more. Epilepsy can be acquired genetically or as a result of an acute trauma (e.g., stroke, moderate to severe TBI). Through neuropsychological testing, we work to provide patients and their caregivers with a better understanding of how epilepsy seizures may affect learning, behavior, and other cognitive functioning. Our team has experience with pre- and post-surgical epilepsy evaluations (e.g., typically temporal lobectomy) and will work closely with your neurologist and epileptologist to decide the best treatment plan to manage seizures and to improve quality of life.
Psychogenic non-epileptic (PNEE) events are ‘seizure-like’ behaviors that occur in the absence of an underlying epileptic abnormality. PNEE can take up to 8 years for a diagnosis and can be difficult to distinguish from epilepsy. Although this disorder is not the same as epilepsy, PNEE has similar consequences for patients (e.g., work limitations, driving restriction, AED medication, etc.). The providers at NSG have experience with this population and can easily work with existing neurology / epilepsy teams.
At NSG, we offer psychological assessments to be used in the diagnosis and evaluation of ADHD or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This condition usually presents in childhood and persists into adulthood and is marked by ongoing patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. By assessing your child through psychological evaluation, we strive to help parents better understand their child’s ADHD and its impact on learning, development, and behavior.
Post traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition triggered by a shocking or traumatizing experience. With PTSD, an individual may struggle and experience unwanted symptoms such as nightmares, anxiety, or painful flashbacks. Our psychologists work with patients to evaluate their PTSD and its triggers and impact on daily life, and then determine the best course of action for treatment and management.
Mood disorders refer to a category of mental health conditions involving serious changes or abnormalities in mood. Common mood disorders include major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and more. Mood disorders are often comorbid with other mental health conditions (such as anxiety and depression occurring with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s). At NSG, our providers are able to assess important features of mood, determine if there is a relation between a patient’s mood and cognitive changes, and can work with your medical team to determine the best treatment. Mood disorder treatments can involve medication, talk-therapy, or a combination of the two.
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Seeking professional help is often the first and most difficult step in working toward evaluating, understanding, and treating mental health disorders. At NSG, we want to help our patients gain an understanding of their brain and how it functions so that they can better cope and manage their mental health and improve their quality of life.
If you’re concerned that you or your loved one may suffer from a mental health condition, make an appointment to see a mental health professional with NSG as soon as possible.