We provide neuropsychological assessment, consultation and limited interventions to people with acquired brain injury or other neurological symptoms and illness.
Common reasons for referral include problems with memory, concentration and problem solving, and changes in personality and behaviour.
Neuropsychological assessments look at how your brain is working and how brain injuries or illness may affect your behaviour, thinking and personality.
The results can help you and the professionals caring for you to understand more about your symptoms and how they may be affecting you.
Prepare for your appointment
Try to relax before your appointment. Often people find the testing interesting and the information gathered will help towards your care.
You should avoid any activities that are likely to leave you especially fatigued on the day of the assessment.
There is no need to stop taking any prescribed medications but you should avoid alcohol and/or recreational drugs in the 24-hours preceding your appointment.
Bring to the assessment:
Reading glasses, if you use them.
A hearing aid, if you use one.
A relative or close friend, if you like.
If you can no longer attend
Call the patient booking hub on 0300 303 8360 to reschedule.
This also allows us to give the unfilled appointment to someone else.
What to expect while under our care
Neuropsychological assessments are comprehensive cognitive evaluations which typically take two or more hours in an outpatient setting although shorter (screening) assessments are appropriate for inpatients or individuals who fatigue easily. The data is typically used for diagnostic purposes but also in treatment planning, monitoring of clinical conditions and outcome measurement.
We will look at a number of different brain functions including:
Some of the tasks are pen and paper exercises and others involve solving puzzles.
We will decide which tasks to give you based on your history, medical notes and discussion with others involved in your care.
A report will be sent to your GP and to the professional who referred you. You can also request a copy.
The results will help your healthcare provider to:
better understand your symptoms
plan your treatment or rehabilitation
track any changes in your symptoms
We may also be able to provide you with some tips and strategies to help you manage your symptoms better.
We are bound by a code of confidentiality. No information regarding you or your assessment will be discussed outside of the context of your clinical care. Records will not be released outside the NHS without your permission. Your records will be stored securely. The same confidentiality rules apply to interpreters.
Have a wind down routine where you prepare yourself for sleep (ideally start 90 minutes before bedtime).
Try to keep your bed for sleep and intimacy only.
The quarter-of-an-hour rule. This is for the times that you may find yourself not being able to get to sleep straight away. If you find that 15 minutes has passed, try getting out of bed, go to another room and wind down until you are feeling sleepy. Then try to go back to bed to sleep again.
Set a regular time for you to get up each morning and see whether you can stick to it 7 nights a week. To help with getting up you can play some lively music or have a shower.
Keep active! This will help tire your body and mind so that you are ready to sleep at bedtime. However, try not to exercise within 2 hours of bedtime.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine in the hours before bed. Also try not to eat a heavy meal right before bed.
Natural light suppresses the production of melatonin (a hormone associated with sleep). Avoid bright light before bedtime and try to expose yourself to natural light in the mornings to help you wake up.
Avoid using electrical devices before bed as they produce blue light that is the strongest type of light to suppress melatonin production.
Be smart with naps. Try to avoid them if you can but if you desperately need one, take a short nap of around 20 minutes, preferably in the morning.
Sometimes it is possible to tackle common psychological distress and mild cognitive problems without having to see a psychologist.
Here are some useful resources for various cognitive and psychological symptoms that may help you understand more about what you are going through.
Headspace is a meditation app for your phone and computer that contains a range of meditation and relaxation exercises. There is a free trial period so you can try it before you consider paying for it.
Moodjuice for Anxiety contains information based on a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach to understanding and treating anxiety.
Living Life To The Full is a free online course that covers low mood and stress and some of the common problems they cause.
Moodjuice for Depression contains information based on a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach to understanding and treating depression.
There is no robust evidence to suggest that brain training helps improve cognition; however, some people find that it helps them when it comes to maximising everyday functioning, and it is always a good idea to keep the brain active.
There is evidence to suggest that leading a healthy lifestyle, such as taking regular exercise and eating a balanced diet, may also help promote better cognition. This is particularly important for healthy ageing and can also help reduce stress, depression and anxiety.
Here are some links to charities and organisations that specialise in various neurological illness and injury: