Although clinical neuropsychology is a relatively new discipline, it traces its roots back to the ancients who wondered about the ''seat of the soul'' and the source of human thought. Drawing from the earliest studies of brain-behavior relationships in patients with naturally acquired lesions and the accumulating body of

Table VII

Psychological Functioning and Mood Test name Description

Beck Depression Inventory This instrument is used to assess depression severity based on self-reported ratings of a number of different relevant symptoms. Higher scores indicate greater severity of symptoms.

Beck Anxiety Inventory This instrument is used to assess anxiety severity based on self-reported ratings of a variety of somatic, cognitive, and psychological symptoms of anxiety. Higher scores indicate greater severity of symptoms.

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 This series of 537 true/false questions load on to a number of different subscales that

(MMPI-2) correspond to various personality traits or types of psychopathology. Scores on each subscale are standardized. Combinations of high and low scores on individual subscales correspond differentially to the presence or absence of various psychopathologies. Careful interpretation of subscale scores is crucial to the accurate use of this measure.

Table VIII

Dementia Screening Tools

Test name


Blessed Dementia Scale

Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE)

Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (DRS)

Consists of two parts: (1) a rating scale of activities of daily living to be completed by a caregiver or other independent rater and (2) a brief screening measure of orientation, concentration, and memory. Higher scores indicate greater severity of dementia.

This is a set of brief tasks that can be administered at the bedside and used to screen for obvious cognitive impairment. Includes items that assess attention, orientation, language, memory, and construction. Lower scores indicate greater severity of dementia.

This scale assesses a wide range of neuropsychological domains, including attention, initiation and perseverance, construction, conceptualization, and memory. It is used for grading and tracking the overall degree of dementia. Lower scores indicate greater severity of dementia.

literature in cognitive neuroscience, neuropsycholo-gists have created a diverse collection of test instruments and other assessment methods which permit the precise measurement of specific components of human thinking. Together with a comprehensive knowledge of neuropathologic syndromes, the results of neurop-sychological examination provide both descriptive and diagnostic information regarding the condition of the brain. As in all venues of medicine, diagnostic precision is a prerequisite for sound therapy. Because of its relative newness as a clinical discipline, several applied paradigms currently exist and there is some debate regarding preferred methods. Neuropsychologists in the 21st century face the challenge of establishing and promulgating an approach to assessment and treatment that unifies clinical practice and embraces the need for progressively refined normative information suited to diverse patient populations.

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