Learn more about neuropsychology
Monday, November 9, 2015
What is neuropsychology?
Neuropsychology is a specialty field of clinical psychology that largely focuses on how brain functions relate and affect our psychological processes or behavior. It is based on the principle that cognition and the brain’s structure are intimately related. As among the newest fields of psychology, much is being learned and discovered about this relationship each year.
Typically, those with brain injuries (concussions, stroke, traumatic injuries) or cognitive impairments (Alzheimer's disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, multiple sclerosis) see neuropsychologists, especially when changes in behavior are present or if the condition persists.
The field of neuropsychology has increased our understanding and familiarity of the human brain. Traditional cognitive psychology, paired with advanced imaging technology, has brought neuropsychology to the forefront of modern medicine and science.
What sets neuropsychologists apart?
Neuropsychologists have an advanced degree in clinical psychology, have successfully completed a neuropsychology internship, and have additional specialized fellowship training. This additional training allows for further knowledge, especially in areas such as neuroanatomy, psychopharmacology, neurobiology and brain-specific diseases.
Functions related to attention, memory and problem solving skills are also a focus for neuropsychologists in this field. If a person has a brain injury or related disease and isn’t as clear-of-mind or sharp as previous, a neuropsychologist can determine a diagnosis through specialized tests.
What are advantages to seeing a neuropsychologist?
A neuropsychologist has a specific skill set to provide proper evaluation and recommend treatment for specific brain-related issues. Neuropsychologists’ training allows them to better understand test results in the context of brain function, beyond that of traditional psychologists, and can better explain how brain disorders and diseases affect personality and cognition. BayCare Clinic Neuropsychology has three subspecialties:
Neuropsychologists often administer and assess specific tests to measure cognitive deficits to determine the recommended treatment, rehabilitation and future management of those affected by brain injuries and diseases, as well as patients with mental impairments. The goals of these evaluations are:
To determine the presence and degree of cognitive impairment from injury or disease
To determine the patient’s specific mental strengths and weaknesses
To determine how the brain function affects personality and behavior
This information can aid in determining a patient’s mental capacity (often as part of legal action or cases) and gives direction how best the patient can manage his or her situation.
If you have recently suffered a brain injury or have a brain disease which makes you feel impaired or not the same as before, consider meeting with a BayCare Clinic neuropsychologist. For your convenience, you can request an appointment online.