Part 3: Neuropsychological Evaluation in Clinical Practice: Overview and Approach

Lynn W. Shaughnessy, MA, Maureen K. O’Connor, PsyD, ABCN, and Janet C. Sherman, PhD

Ms. Shaughnessy is a student, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, West Roxbury, MA. Dr. O’Connor is an instructor, Department of Neurosurgery, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, and Director of Neuropsychology, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Bedford, MA. Dr. Sherman is an assistant professor, Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, and clinical director, Psychology Assessment Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.

Question 4

Verbal fluency measures are commonly used within a neuropsychological evaluation and by neurologists as part of mental status examinations. Studies have found that relative difficulties on letter fluency versus semantic fluency tasks can be helpful in making which of the following differentiations?

  •  Differentiating patients with a focal lesion from those
    with generalized neurologic impairment
  •  Differentiating patients with mild versus moderate to severe
    stages of dementia
  •  Differentiating patients with strong vocabulary knowledge
    from those with weaker vocabulary knowledge
  •  Differentiating patients with temporal involvement from
    those with frontosubcortical pathology

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