There is rapidly developing literature to indicate that a subset of COVID-19 patients experience neuropsychological deficits including “brain fog” and impaired attention, concentration, memory, and executive functioning. These neuropsychological deficits, in some cases, have had a severe impact on one’s functional abilities at home, at work, and in the community.
Comprehensive neuropsychological testing and resulting treatment recommendations have important implications for these individuals, particularly regarding return to work decisions. Neuropsychological testing is critical for determining the nature of impairment, type of impairment, etiology, and determining if the impairment rises to a level of disability. Additional questions that can be informed by neuropsychological assessment include:
Is there evidence of impairment that renders the person vocationally disabled?
Has the individual reached maximum medical improvement?
Is there evidence of permanency?
Are there vocational accommodations that may assist the individual based on cognitive weaknesses revealed in objective test data?
A neuropsychological evaluation also provides essential baseline measures in order to determine whether there is improvement or regression over time, and a thorough clinical interview can help a neuropsychologist differentiate between preexisting psychological, medical, and cognitive weaknesses and current objective deficits.