What is a neuropsychologist? A neuropsychologist is a psychologist who has a specialized knowledge of the connection between the physical brain and behavior of an individual. The human brain is one of the most complex organs. Hence, any disorder in the brain or nervous system could alter the cognitive functions and behavior of a person.
The function of a neuropsychologist is to find out how the structure of the human brain relates to thinking and behavior patterns. These professionals possess extensive training in neuropsychology, often Doctorate training too. These doctors usually work in clinical settings and research facilities around the world. This article provides information on what is a neuropsychologist.
A neuropsychologist would treat patients who suffer from different types of nervous disorders. These professionals will work closely with neurologists and other doctors in the field. In fact, if someone is having a disease, injury or illness in the nervous system or brain, it can affect the way this person thinks, behaves, and feels. There are some prominent symptoms that reveal that you need to consult a neuropsychologist immediately. Or do this on behalf of someone you care about.
Some of the major symptoms in this regard include mood swings or disturbances, memory loss or difficulties, dysfunctions of the nervous system, and learning difficulties. If another doctor cannot identify the cause of these symptoms, you need to go to a neuropsychologist who could make an assessment and diagnose the cause of your condition and symptoms. Even if the diagnosis is already performed, obtaining a second opinion from a neuropsychologist will be quite helpful and ensure you are on the right track.
These professionals will help determine the impairments the patient is having and how severe the condition is. In fact, there are many physical ailments that are directly connected to the mental state of the patient. For example:
. Parkinsons disease is considered a progressive disorder which could result in numerous neurological issues over time. A professional neuropsychologist’s examination will determine the disease progression and the decreased functions.
. A stroke can impair a person’s thinking, memory, and behavior. A neuropsychologist will conduct an evaluation to determine the degree of stroke impairment.
. Traumatic brain injuries may cause a wide range of symptoms. A professional will help determine how such an injury would affect the mental functions like problem-solving and reasoning skills.
. A neuropsychologist will help determine the different types of learning disabilities and appropriate treatment plans for them.
Our nervous system is a complex system. A neuropsychologist would use various types of procedures to identify any problems there. Then, they will develop the appropriate treatment plans to deal with the problems. A neuropsychological evaluation assesses how one’s brain functions.
The procedure may include interviews and questions to determine your performance of daily tasks. It will also help identify mental concerns and memory problems. In fact, the patient may have to reveal important information such as his/her medical history, the medications taken by them, and the symptoms of the condition. Such an evaluation should include different types of tests to measure the brain functions of the patient.
The areas of function include cognitive ability, reasons, emotions, problem-solving, personality, and memory. MRI and CT scans might also helpful when the neuropsychologist has to make a diagnosis for some conditions.
Your test results are then compared with other patients who are in the same age group and education level. These results can help determine the real cause of the illness or condition where other techniques do not work. Your neuropsychologist will develop a treatment plan to treat the dysfunctioning in your brain and improve your behavior over time. Most of the time, the treatment plan may include rehabilitation, medications, or surgery.
Neuropsychology is considered a mixture between neurology and psychology. The education of the professional should be based on this speciality. Most students will undergo a four-year bachelor’s degree in psychology and pre-med neurology or biology. Most of the neuropsychologists will not be offered employment until they have completed advanced degrees. Some neuropsychologists will start their career with a master’s degree in neuropsychology. Some others may go on to earn more advanced degrees such as Ph. D.’s.