Archive for February, 2015

What is a neuropsychological evaluation, what good is it, and how is it best done? Let’s start by making a distinction between testing and evaluation. Tests are rigid, standardized, formal measuring tools to determine things like mastery of information, placement in school programs, and outcomes for clinical trials of drugs. The test administrator needs to be consistent, neutral, not help, and not give feedback that may influence the results. Many neuropsychologists administer “tests.” On the other hand, an evaluation is more flexible. The interaction is less formal and can be modified to meet the needs and personalities of those needing evaluation. For example, memory evaluations start by observing whether the client is on time. Did he or she remember the paperwork? Can he or she find the office? Find their insurance cards? Know their birthdate? Remember a list of words? […]


It seems that there is a mass sense of awaiting the magic bullet – the medication or the supplement – which we can take to make neurological disease go away. I hear so often how disappointed my audience is when I honestly say there is no magic potion available nor is there one that I can see on the horizon. We have come to expect medicine to offer a cure for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease just as it can offer antibiotics for certain infections or analgesics that make a migraine go away. However, if we actually understand how the brain functions, there are treatments right under our nose. I recently read Norman Doidge’s article in the Wall Street Journal (February 7/8, 2015) “Brain, Heal Thyself” with great interest. He points out how our evolving metaphors of the brain, despite having […]


It’s not just those who have memory disorders that want to remember better. In everyday life, at school, or at work we rely on memory to stay engaged, advance, and track information. Seems so simple. It is not. Ever try to remember which movies you have seen over the last 6 months? What books have you read (who wrote them? Details for discussion?)? What you have to do at 3:00? Here are some strategies that help. 1. Read physical books. Reading is reading, right? Apparently not. Turns out that reading a physical book leads to better memory than reading on an electronic reader. Also, taking written notes leads to better learning than transcribing notes on a computer or tablet. When I don’t care if I remember (like for reading just for fun novels), I read electronically. If I am reading […]

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