What is Neuropsychology?
July 03, 2018
Neuropsychology is the study of the brain-behavior relationship. In other words, it’s the study of areas of the brain responsible for thinking, emotional responses, intelligence and behavior. Neuropsychologists use specialized testing methods to evaluate how well the brain is functioning. Based on the test results, he or she can determine a person’s cognitive strengths and weakness.
How is it different from neurology and psychology?
Neurology is the study of the brain, how it works and its structure. Psychology is more of the study of what the brain does — the person’s behaviors and abilities. Neuropsychology is the bridge between the two.
Who might need to have a neuropsychological evaluation?
Many of the patients we see are post-injury, but Neuropsychologists also monitor the progression of brain health in those diagnosed with various neurological diseases. He or she is able to track patients with dementia, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, etc.
Neuropsychologists also treat patients with a wide variety of brain disorders and disabilities, but the most common diagnoses are traumatic brain injuries, seizure disorders, learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, brain tumor, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Autism Spectrum Disorders and emotional or behavioral disturbances.
What occurs during an evaluation?
A typical appointment will start with an interview with the neuropsychologist. During this interview, the doctor collects the patient’s medical and family history and any concerns are presented. After the interview, the patient will meet with a trained neuropsychometrist to complete the testing process, which takes an average of three to four hours for adults, and seven to eight hours, over a two day period, for children. The neuropsychologist will then analyze the results and compile a report breaking down how well the brain is functioning. The patient will return for a feedback appointment, at which time the neuropsychologist will deliver the results and recommendations. There will also be a time to ask questions or discuss concerns during this final meeting.
How do you schedule an appointment?
Talk to your primary care provider or a mental health professional about your concerns. If they feel neuropsychological evaluation is appropriate, they can send a referral to the neurology department.