Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Premorbid Functioning

  • Michael Franzen
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-56782-2_1236-2


Premorbid functioning refers to the level of functioning prior to some pathological event. Some knowledge or estimate of premorbid functioning is important in order to draw conclusions regarding whether the obtained test scores reflect some decline from prior or premorbid levels. For example, a memory quotient score of 90 may reflect no change in an individual whose premorbid functioning involved a ninth grade education and employment as a nighttime security guard, but it may reflect significant decline in functioning in an individual whose premorbid functioning included graduate education and employment as CEO of a medium-sized manufacturing company (Vanderploeg & Schinka, 2004).



  1. Vanderploeg, R. D., & Schinka, J. A. (2004). Estimation of premorbid cognitive abilities: Issues and approaches. In J. H. Ricker (Ed.), Differential diagnosis in adult neuropsychological assessment (pp. 27–65). New York: Springer.Google Scholar

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Allegheny General HospitalPittsburghUSA