What is a neuropsychological examination?
A neuropsychological examination is essentially a quantitative
and qualitative assessment of brain-behavior relationships
(see Services, Neuropsychological Evaluations on this website).
How long does it take to get a report?
On average, reports are turned around within one or two weeks after the last date of assessment.
Will the doctor review the test results with me?
Dr. McDonough will conduct a clinical interview prior to the testing and will review the testing data with you at a date after the testing
is completed (unless it is an IME or for some other reason). At
that time, both strengths and weaknesses seen in the data will
be explained as well as any treatment recommendations and
I fell recently and hit my head, but the CT scan was normal and I did not lose consciousness. Could I still have had a head injury?
Many times, the CT can be normal and a patient still could have acquired a significant brain injury. A loss of consciousness is not required for the diagnosis of a concussion and there still possibly may be neuropsychological problems in spite of these negative findings.
What is a mild traumatic brain injury?
Mild traumatic brain injury is characterized by no loss of consciousness or a brief loss of consciousness. In general,
most people with mild traumatic brain injuries show significant improvement within three months after their injury though for
some patients this takes longer.
Do you treat brain injury?
Cognitive remediation services are available at Scripps Memorial Hospital-Encinitas as well as individual services. Depending on the area of town in which you live, you may be referred to a specific program or seen in Dr. McDonough’s service for individual treatment.
How can I learn more about issues related to various forms
of head injury and trauma?
Dr. McDonough is on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation. The foundation is a good source of information and networking regarding brain injury. Click on the attached link to reach the foundation. San Diego Brain Injury Foundation
What if I have a question answered that is not outlined under
You can reach us at email@example.com. Unless you have contacted Dr. McDonough before, the initial contact may be read as spam mail. If this is the case, merely fill out the form to allow your mail to go through to Dr. McDonough. Put the word “neuropsychology” in the subject heading and if your mail does go into the spam file, We will see it based on that subject heading term (e.g. “neuropsychology”) and answer your e-mail as soon as reasonably possible. You can also call the office (760) 944-9647 to discuss any questions or concerns you have with Dr. McDonough.
Dictionary of terms - reference Diana M Goodwin, A Dictionary of Neuropsychology, Springer-Berlag, New York 1989
Neuropsychology - a specialty within the field of psychology that focuses primarily on neurobehavioral functioning and brain behavior relationships.
Developmental aphasia - a specific delay in language acquisition disproportionate to general cognitive development.
Attention deficit - distractability or impaired ability for focused behavior, impaired concentration and mental/conceptional tracking abilities for tasks that require sustained or focused attention and concentration.
Dementia - a mental disorder without clouding of consciousness or disturbance of perception in an otherwise healthy person characterized by by some or all of the following: cognitive dysfunction, disorders of mood and affect, behavior disorders, memory deficit, failing judgement, difficulty in abstract thought, rumination on the past, confusion for time and place, failure to identify relatives, perservaration, confabulization, anxiety, short-tempered, depression, visual hallucinations, disinhibition, intellectual decline, paranoia, pre-senile (onset before age 65), senile (onset after 65).
Abstract thinking - ability to form concepts, use categories, generalize from single instances, apply procedural rules and general principles... be aware to judge what is relevant, essential,and appropriate.
Agnosia - deficit in the formulation and use of symbolic concepts, including the significance of numbers and letters, the names of parts of the body or recognition, knowing and understanding the meaning of stimuli.
Alzheimer's disease (AD/SDAT) - characterized by progressive degenerative nerve cell change within the cerebral hemispheres with global deterioration of intellect and personality.
Amnesia - partial or total loss of memory, often coupled with an inability to form new memory traces or to learn.
Stroke (CVA) - sudden appearance of neurological symptoms as a result of severe interruption of blood flow; can result from a wide variety of different vascular diseases. Can be obstructive or hemorrhagic.
Parkinson's Disease/syndrome - Progressive neuronal degeneration of basal ganglionic structures, particularly the substantia nigra; content of the striatum is depleted, presumably due to a loss of neurons in the substantia nigra and degeneration of the nigrostriatal tract to which they give rise and the loss of the neurotransmitter substance, dopamine, which is produced by the cells of the substantia nigra neucleus.
Substance dependence - (DSM IV - TR) (American Psychiatric Association, published by the American Psychiatric Association, Washington DC, 2000) - maladaptive behavior of substance abuse, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by symptoms and signs as outlined in the DSM.
Anoxia - Absence of lack of oxygen; reduction of oxygen in body tissues below physiologic levels.
Anoxic Anoxia - anoxia resulting from interference with the source of oxygen; most often refers to diminished oxygen in the arterial blood despite normal ability to contain and carry oxygen.
Wernicke's encephalopathy - serious complication of alcoholism; gross confusion with memory loss, potentially fatal disturbance of brain stem function, extra-ocular nerve palsies, usually the 6th nerve, nystagmus and ataxia.