Cardiovascular and Somatic Disorders

  • Tyler S. Lorig
Part of the Critical Issues in Neuropsychology book series (CINP)


Neuropsychological testing has experienced enormous growth in recent years. It is a standard procedure for pre- and postassessment of neurosurgical patients in most medical centers and many smaller hospitals. Referrals for neuropsychological testing from neurologists and neurosurgeons are growing and are a testament to the usefulness of these assessment batteries. While the use of these tests presently enjoys some success, the continued growth and potential of neuropsychological testing is limited by injudicious interpretation. One factor contributing to problems with these tests is the false-positive, the case where a neuropsychological problem is found when none actually exists. A variant of this problem is the case where a neuropsychological deficit is found and attributed to closed, or other, head trauma when the actual deficit is due to other pathology affecting the nervous system. Such is the case with many somatic illnesses. Hall, Popkin, Devaul, Faillace, and Stickney (1978), for instance, report that 9.1% of psychiatric referrals are actually somatic diseases producing psychiatric symptoms. And, as Tarter, Edwards, and van Thiel (1989a) point out, even though the number of acute illnesses have declined, chronic illnesses have increased thus exacerbating the risk of neurological complications from somatic disease.


Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Neuropsychological Deficit Somatic Disorder Transient Cerebral Ischemia Oral Contraceptive User 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tyler S. Lorig
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWashington and Lee UniversityLexingtonUSA

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