What is a neuropsychologist?

Neuropsychologists are PhD doctors, clinical psychologists, who have completed advanced training in brain behavior relationships. They employ the testing methods of psychology to understand how the brain is processing information. By using paper and pencil tests, and computer applications, and questionnaires, neuropsychologists establish a baseline measure of the major functional areas of the brain. These areas include attention/concentration, executive functioning, language, memory, visuospatial, and personality/emotional health. The baseline measure is used in three ways. First the baseline provides a point of comparison of brain functioning from the present time forward. Second the measure allows interpretation in the context of normal aging. Third, the measure establishes a profile of strengths and weaknesses. By examining this baseline measure, the neuropsychologist is able to determine whether the patient’s presentation represents normal aging or a disease process. Diseases that neuropsychologists address in this type of testing include developmental delay, learning disabilities, concussion, and dementia. Additionally, certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease often present with very specific functional deficits.

A neuropsychologist is an important part of the rehabilitation team for those with traumatic brain injury (TBI). This healthcare professional is a psychologist with additional training in understanding the brain’s cognitive functions, such as memory, language and attention. The neuropsychologist specializes in evaluating brain behavior and making specific recommendations for treatment of any problems that are discovered. Treatment may include medications, therapy, or rehabilitation. By identifying problems and solutions, the neuropsychologist helps individuals with TBI to return to a fulfilling and productive life. Focusing on thinking skills and behaviors, the neuropsychologist may help reduce recovery setbacks.
A neuropsychologist is a psychologist who has completed additional training in the understanding of the behavioral manifestations of brain dysfunction.  They are typically trained in the assessment of cognitive abilities such as memory, psychomotor speed, problem solving, motor function, speech and language, and psychiatric issues such a depression.  Neuropsychologists typically work in treatment teams with psychiatrists, neuroradiologists, and physicians to advise on how brain injury, metabolic conditions that affect the central nervous system, diseases that impact the nervous system, and aging affect a patient, and are instrumental in informing treatment recommendations, remediation and rehabilitation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.