What is Neuropsychology?

 

Neuropsychology is the scientific study of brain-behavior relationships. The knowledge is used to evaluate and treat individuals with neurological problems impacting on development, learning, behavior, cognitive functioning, and social-emotional development.


What is a Neuropsychologist?

 

 

A neuropsychologist is a psychologist who specializes in evaluating and treating individuals who are thought to have a problem in the way their brains are functioning. A neuropsychologist has had education and training related to the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the nervous system. A neuropsychologist also has had specific training in evaluating and treating different kinds of central nervous system disorders.


What is Neuropsychological Assessment?

 

 

A neuropsychological assessment may include evaluation of the following areas:

  • intellectual functioning
  • academic achievement (reading, writing, math)
  • ability to learn and remember
  • language functions
  • visual/spatial functions
  • attention/concentration/executive functions
  • sensorimotor functions
  • personality / social emotional development
  • adaptive behavior
  • interpersonal relationships

As part of the neuropsychological assessment a comprehensive history is taken which includes information regarding pregnancy, birth, health, development, education, and day-to-day functioning.


Why Refer for Neuropsychological Assessment?

 

An individual be referred for neuropsychological assessment for the following reasons:

  • problems with attention span and distractibility
  • problems with learning
  • problems with development
  • problems with behavior

An individual may also referred for assessment is he/she has the following conditions or problems:

  • Experienced a brain injury and there are concerns with behavior/learning/cognitive functioning.
  • There are concerns with memory and other cognitive functions.
  • Experienced a concussion and decisions need to be made with respect to work, school, and sports participation
  • Is undergoing a medical treatment which can affect behavior/learning/cognitive functioning (radiation, chemotherapy, anticonvulsant medication).
  • Been exposed to a toxic substance and there are concerns with behavior/learning/cognitive functioning. 
  • Has had a stroke
  • Has a seizure disorder
  • Has metabolic problems
  • Has endocrine problems
  • Premature birth and/or in utero exposure to drugs/alcohol

 The functional purposes for the evaluation can be varied and include:

  • To describe the degree of impairment
  • To measure progress and development
  • To assist in the development and implementation of educational and therapeutic plans
  • To assist teachers and therapists with challenging behaviors
  • To assist parents/spouses/caregivers in understanding the individual more fully.