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Chapter 1

PSYC32H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Neuropsychological Assessment, Neurofibrillary Tangle, Senile Plaques

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Zachariah Campbell

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Chapter 1:
Clinical neuropsychology: an applied science concerned with the behavioural expression of
brain dysfunction
o in the earlier forms of neuropsychology, they had a huge focus on war-damaged brains.
o Educational testing was the source of ever more reliable measurement techniques and
statistical tools for test standardization and the development of normative data, analysis
of research findings, and validation studies.
Purpose of Neuropsychological assessments:
o Neuropsychological assessment can be useful for:
discriminating between psychiatric and neurological symptoms
identifying a possible neurological disorder in a nonpsychiatric patient
helping to distinguish between different neurological conditions
providing behavioural data for localizing the site of a lesion.
*However, the use of neuropsychological assessment as a diagnostic tool has diminished
o Sometimes neuropsychological assessments can help to differentiate between people.
For example, if three people had similar frontal lesions, it is only through
neuropsychological assessments you would be able to see their distinctively different
psychosocial behaviours.
o Neuropsychological assessments can document mental abilities that are inconsistent
with anatomic findings, such as the 101 yo nun whose test scores were high but had
abundant neurofibrillary tangles and senile plaques, similar to those found in
Alzheier’s disease.
o neuropsychological assessments can aid in prodromal or early detection and prediction
of dementing disorders or outcome
Patient care and planning
o Patiet are plaig usually depeds o a uderstadig of patiets’ apailities ad
limitations, the kinds of psychological change they are undergoing, and the impact of
these changes on their experiences of themselves and on their behaviour
o Data from successive neuropsychological assessments repeated at regular intervals can
provide reliable indications of whether the underlying neurological condition is
changing, and if so, how rapidly and in what ways. Repeated testing may also be used to
measure the effects of surgical procedures, medical treatment, or retraining.
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