Abstract and Keywords
Neuropsychological evaluation is an integral part of clinical research in adults with neurocognitive disorders. Common reasons for neuropsychological evaluation in research are to identify or confirm diagnoses of individuals to be included in research studies; characterize neurocognitive, functional, and emotional/behavioral abilities; and measure the effectiveness of targeted interventions. A doctoral degree and specialized training in brain–behavior relationships are needed to conduct neuropsychological evaluations for diagnostic purposes and to interpret neuropsychological tests, whereas administration and scoring of neuropsychological tests can be performed by individuals with various educational and clinical backgrounds who are trained and supervised appropriately. The neurobehavioral interview is the primary means by which the evaluator gathers information necessary to understand the evaluee’s perspective and to place it within the context of medical, cognitive, emotional, and social information to form an impression. Neuropsychological tests are tools to confirm impressions from the neurobehavioral interview and/or characterize neurocognitive and functional abilities, as well as emotional/behavioral functioning. Neurocognitive screening measures, including computerized test batteries, are often used in clinical research to estimate global cognitive functioning and to serve as treatment outcome and safety measures, whereas comprehensive neuropsychological assessment is usually reserved for diagnostic evaluations. Characteristics of the patient population under study along with individual and environmental factors require careful thought when developing the neuropsychological test battery. Neurocognitive outcomes are of increasing interest to researchers across a variety of research domains and diagnostic entities, and clinical researchers are encouraged to stay abreast of the newest approaches to study adult neurocognitive disorders.
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