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Four Types of Psychological Tests to Judge TBI

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is any injury to the brain due to a severe blow to the head, a fall, contact with a blunt instrument, or whiplash in case of an accident. It can result in temporary or permanent impairment of cognitive, physical, or psychosocial function, which is recognized only after a clinical examination and then based on intensity it is classified as mild, moderate, or severe.

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury

A major symptom of Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI is cognitive dysfunction. Cognitive failure means that the individual finds it difficult to plan anything, solve problems, concentrate, remember things clearly and make decisions. Previous research hints at the traumatized individual’s inability to interpret social cues as the main cause of social dysfunction.

Diagnosing Traumatic Brain Injury

Cognitive Testing is used to assess brain injuries and detect mild cases of TBI. Diagnosing TBI poses a problem because the injured individual is the primary source of information and it might be hard for the traumatized individual to remember the exact details. Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) is the hardest to diagnose and it goes unchecked because individuals don’t realize they have been affected. For instance, a sportsman may not even know they are experiencing cognitive or social dysfunction as the result of a head injury.

Psychological Tests

National Institute of Health (NIH) Toolbox – Cognition Battery

The NIH Toolbox for assessing neurological and behavioral function cognition battery is a computerized test, recommended for data collection for TBI research. The Toolbox is designed to measure working memory, attention span, language, processing speed and executive functioning capability of suspected TBI individuals.

Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB)

The NAB test also focuses on five areas of cognition; attention, language, memory, spatial and executive functions. The primary Screening Test establishes the degree of trauma and possible treatment for the patient. The Screening Test also helps identify which domain needs in-depth investigation.

Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Battery (HRNB)

HRNB is a comprehensive suite of eight psychological tests that are used to evaluate brain and nervous system function and to assess localization and lateralization of brain injury. The tests included in this group are named the Wechsler Intelligence Scale, Aphasia Screening Test, Trail Making Tests, and Halstead Category Tests that further have seven subtests. The subtests include Tactual Performance Test, Seashore Rhythm Test, Speech Sounds Perception Test, Finger Tapping Test, Sensory Perceptual Examination, and Lateral Dominance Examination test. These tests help evaluate key performance indicators to determine the extent of brain injury and identify possible damage to the left or right hemisphere of the brain.

Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS)

The D-KEFS is a test made up of nine subtests and they help evaluate the verbal and non-verbal executive functioning capability of children and adults. This set of tests is administered to measure mild brain damage in the frontal lobes. It also helps identify deficiencies in higher-order thinking skills and how it impacts an individual’s functional capability.

Need help with a worker’s comp claim or treatment from an injury? Dr. Jeff Mollins is here for you. Contact us today to schedule a free evaluation.

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