Bluff Plantation is now offering comprehensive neuropsychological testing for all patients. Led by neuropsychologist Jeremy Hurtza, M.D., we are helping our patients in the most appropriate way by understanding how their brain works and what contributes to certain behaviors. Neuropsychological evaluation is an assessment of how one’s brain functions, which indirectly yields information about the structural and functional integrity of your brain. The neuropsychological evaluation involves an interview and the administration of tests. The tests are typically pencil and paper type tests.

Mental illness and substance abuse play a role in neuropsychological evaluations. The presence of one or both can change testing results but, in turn, they can also provide information into a person’s psychological state. The American Academy of Neurology’s article on neuropsychological testing on adults noted that both mental health disorders and substance abuse or addiction can influence many psychological traits. For example, a person with alcoholism often shows impairment in attention, problem-solving, and abstraction. Conversely, depression and severe depression often are accompanied by impairment in motor skills, cognitive abilities and memory.

Evaluations like those mentioned above can prove advantageous to rehabilitation and treatment facilities. Because neuropsychological tests assist in diagnoses of mental health disorders, clinicians can better determine whether some traits are inherent (“organic”) or functional (meaning a result of brain trauma). The results of such tests can guide and influence an individual’s treatment and ongoing recovery.