Trouble walking or hand tremors are the familiar signs of movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease, but there also can be a host of cognitive symptoms with the disease that require attention.

Patients at the Chase Family Movement Disorders Center, part of the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute, find support for the full range of symptoms with additional members of the team, including neuropsychologists embedded in the care team.

Neuropsychology is a specialty within clinical psychology that focuses on the relationship between the brain and behavior. Clinical neuropsychologists are doctoral-level psychologists who have completed specialized training in this field.They assess cognition and brain function, such as attention, language skills, memory and mood.

What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?

A neuropsychological evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of cognitive and behavioral functions using a set of standardized tests and procedures. It helps the neuropsychologist dig into a patient’s health and lifestyle to uncover the causes of things such as forgetfulness or confusion. 

Various mental functions are systematically tested, including, but not limited to:

  • Intelligence
  • Problem-solving and conceptualization
  • Planning and organization
  • Attention, memory and learning
  • Language
  • Academic skills
  • Perceptual and motor abilities
  • Emotions, behavior and personality

Testing is typically comprised of an interview with you and your family (if available), a review of medical records and the administration of question-and-answer and paper-and-pencil tests. Neuropsychological testing provides valuable information to your care team by identifying cognitive strengths and weaknesses, assisting with the diagnostic process, offering treatment recommendations tailored to you and monitoring of cognitive and emotional status over time.

Why is an evaluation recommended?

Patients are referred for a neuropsychological assessment if they or their clinicians feel there are cognitive changes that need to be addressed. Such changes may be related to the movement disorder, normal aging or a behavioral health concern such as depression or anxiety.

What to expect?

A neuropsychological evaluation consists of an interview and testing. During the clinical interview, the neuropsychologist will review your history to put information into context.

Cognitive testing includes a variety of mental exercises and standardized measurements that examine the domains of cognition –attention, memory and language. Tests can ask the patient to look at a puzzle with one missing piece and choose the final piece from a list of choices or recall a list of items given a few minutes earlier.

The time required depends on the problem being assessed. In general, three hours are needed to assess the many skills involved in processing information. Bring glasses or hearing aids if you use them. Try to come rested and relaxed to your evaluation.

Before your appointment

Before your appointment with one of our neuropsycholigist, please fill out an online Patient History Questionnaire:

Meet our Neuropsychology Specialists:

Jennifer Caruso Meade



Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Vernon, CT 06066
Michelle Bobulinski



Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Cheshire, CT 06410
Geoffrey Schnirman



Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Mystic, CT 06355
Gregg Buongiorno



Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Vernon, CT 06066

Chase Family Movement Disorders Center

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