Friday, April 10, 2015

A Neuropsychologist May Treat Patients In NYC Or Conduct Research

By Iva Cannon

Neuropsychology is considered to be an experimental area of psychology. This professional can be found doing research in a laboratory or sitting in an office in private practice. You can find neuropsychologist in NYC or a small town in upper state New York. He may be conducting a trial of a new medication that improves the central nervous system that is dysfunctional.

Neuroscience and cognitive psychology principles are brought together in pursuit of new knowledge. Studies are done to assess the ways the brain processes information. Treatment of a patient may use rehabilitation, medication or surgery.

For example, someone in this branch of psychology might be found practicing in New York, NY or a small town in Pennsylvania. His or her educational background will include a doctoral degree in psychology with additional training in the sub-specialty of neuropsychology. They go on to treat patients who have disorders of the nervous system.

Some evaluations performed are for people who have suffered a stroke. Determining the extent of impairment will help in determining the optimal treatment plan. Discovering the baseline function of a Parkinsons patient can reveal how severely impaired his or her functional capabilities are. The progression of the disease can be monitored from that point on.

Currently, Alzheimers disease can only be confirmed by autopsy, which of course, does nothing to help the patient while alive. If this professional can help identify it in the early stages, it will. This is a progressively more debilitating disease affecting cognition, memory and the very personality of an individual.

An evaluation may be done by interview. Questioning will be done about daily tasks and how difficult they are to complete. It will compile a medical history including the list of medication the person takes. There are standardized tests that are used to assess everything from problem solving abilities to emotional status.

Brain scans can provide useful information. There is the computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging used most routinely. Results are gauged against a control group of the same age and educational level. The subtle symptoms in the earliest stages of a disease are difficult to diagnose.

The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. It contains mysteries yet to be discovered. Control centers for sensory perception and motor skills have been identified. Brocas area has been determined to be the language center.

A neuropsychologist has an understanding of how the brain affects behavior. In his research he will prove the relationship that exists between them. When a physiological impairment exists it will have a direct effect on behavior.

That understanding leads to identifying the brain dysfunction and how severe it is. From that point a plan can be devised that will help the patient in the optimal way. This professional may choose to work with pediatric patients or focus on the senior population and treat demetia.

Although neuropsychology is a relatively new field, the study of the human brain has been an endeavor of scientists for centuries. Understanding of how it functions and how it determines behavior is a field that has concerned scientists since before they were called scientists. Abnormal behavior can be compared to that of the average person in any age group. The goal is to help change abnormal behavior when possible.

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