What is the benefit of a Neuropsychological testing?

Posted by DanL @tunared, Mar 8 9:20pm

my wife has an upcoming Neuropsychological test and is very nervous (and very anxious) about the test. She (and I) would like to know what is the benefit to her for taking this type of test? She knows her memory is not what it was 5-10 years ago and doesn't understand why she should take the test. She thinks they are using her as a guinea pig with this type of test. I cannot provide her with any benefits that would come from taking the test. Can anyone help?

@IndianaScott

Hi @tunared I wanted to respond to the last line of your post: "If her neurologist is correct and there is no current medication proven to cure or slow the progression of MCI, then why spend 3-6 anxious hours taking a neuropsych test?"

Speaking from my wife's experiences with these tests I observed that her only real anxiety was before the test, but that once participating she quickly lost her anxiety as she focused on the tests themselves.

Also in her case there was never any medicine or medical intervention that would cure or improve her brain cancer. We knew that, but realized the value of these tests was in their ability to help her, our adult children, and me understand and live the highest quality lives we could given her and our circumstances. I cannot emphasize enough how beneficial the findings of her neuropsychological tests were to me as her caregiver. They helped me formulate, plan, and then execute the very best life and care paths for her as I possibly could. Prior to those tests I was just stumbling around in the dark trying to guess which way was best for us to go.

Strength, courage, and peace

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Scott, so well said! I echo every word….blessings and thank you for sharing. You are helping me as the one who walked with my mother on this journey with MCI. It's been several years, but after 12 years of working with her and the many changes we we both expeienced, I am still learning more about my own health and growth and healing from those years. Mayo is helping me so much in this healing as well. We didn't have support groups and I didn't have this wonderful resource, so I'm playing 'catch up' at this point…..but getting there!

Take care and enjoy this day! elizabeth

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@anonimouse

Hello I am a nurse forced into early retirement due to my diagnosis of early onset dementia. I am still able to care for myself drive and I keep very busy using my brain playing games, socializing with family and friends volunteering assistance to ones in need, draw, paint, refinishing furniture, sewing, rock tumbling, flower growing, yard work.. just anything and everything plus I try travel a lot . My diagnosis was initially from neuropsychologist referred to from my neurologist due to my memory loss and struggles. Work was really showing a dramatic change in thought patterns my words won’t come to me. But when I slow down and think it will come or I can brush it to the side and nobody notices. It’s worse when I get rushed or stressed it’s almost like I’m a foreign person trying to speak English but can’t think of the word. And my numbers really get affected. My husband is having a hard time accepting my problem and forces me to do a lot even though I mess up cooking and taking care of bills for example can be herendous at times. But I figure it keeps me sharper trial and error but at least I try and everyone makes mistakes right, I still fit in. Sometimes I get frustrated that I’ve been dealt this hand in life, but as the neuropsychology analyst told me when she give me the initial blow, “ITS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE. “ which at the time I thought well that’s something to say.. but now I see.. I need to and can live the best life I can and that again is all anyone can do. It’s my life sentence. My MRI Pet scan was the confirming point and then my career was demolished. Life as I knew it had to change. And it changes a little all the time, I wonder when I won’t fit in…. but until then I’m gonna keep on doing as much as I can. So yes them tests are beneficial in diagnosis sometimes.

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Hi @anonimouse, I add my welcome to you and appreciate your input in this discussion. Do you find neuropsychological testing stressful?

It can be really hard for a partner to accept the diagnosis. They don't want things to change. Who does, right? Do you know about Mayo Clinic HABIT program? HABIT stands for Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking®. It is a 10 day program for individuals who have received the diagnosis of MCI and a partner to learn the best skills for maintaining independence in spite of memory problems, improving self-esteem, and coping with the emotions that arise for the person and their family with the uncertainty that comes with a diagnosis of MCI. The program focuses on adjustment to the diagnosis of MCI, adaptation to cognitive and functional limitations, brain wellness education, physical and cognitive exercise, and stress/emotional management.

@tunared and @anonimouse, this may be something to look into. One of the silver linings of COVID is that the program is now offered online, so you don't have to live near or travel to Mayo Clinic to participate. You can find out more about the program and the virtual version in these posts:
– HABIT Program Overview: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/living-with-mild-cognitive-impairment-mci/tab/resource-5394/
– HABIT goes Virtual! https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/living-with-mild-cognitive-impairment-mci/newsfeed-post/habit-goes-virtual/

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Colleen, @colleenyoung …This is fantastic! I'm so glad to know about it.
Blessings and may every day be filled with sunshine! elizabeth

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