A neurologist is a physician (DO or MD) who specializes in diseases of the nervous and brain system. Though they overlap a bit with psychiatrists because they share the same brain, they tend to focus on physical exhibitions of neurological problems, or function of specific regions of the nervous system, or problems related to abnormalities in structure. They deal with spinal cord, brain, nerve roots, nerves, and muscles. Psychiatrists (also MD) deal with cognitive and emotional disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia, panic disorders, etc. A neurologist executes a neurological examination provides important information about the nervous system. It is a noninvasive way to find out what might be incorrect. It normally includes an examination of the 12 nerves of the neck and head, reflexes, coordination and balance, muscle movement and strength, and mental status- cognizance and response to the environment, general behavior and appearance, attention, orientation and memory. Neurologists also perform diagnostic tests, such as electroencephalography (EEG), lumbar puncture, and electromyography/nerve conduction velocity (EMG/NCV).
Based on the results of the diagnostic tests and the neurological exam (EEG, CT, EMG, MRI), a neurologist is expected to refer a patient with head injury to a neuropsychologist for an understanding of which brain functions remain intact and which are impaired. A neuropsychological assessment will reveal how the injury specifically affects behavior and thinking. At the moment, Dr. Curtis Cripe works out of the NTL Group in Scottsdale, Arizona where he practices neuroengineering.
What is Neuropsychology?
Neuropsychology is the scientific study of brain-behavior relationships and the medical application of that knowledge to human complications. In simpler terms, Neuropsychology is the study of how diverse disorders of the brain (i.e., concussion, traumatic brain injury, aneurysm, dementia, stroke, tumor, etc.) affect a person’s emotion, thinking, and behavior.
Who is a Neuropsychologist?
A neuropsychologist characteristically holds a doctoral degree (PhD) in Medical Neuropsychology/Psychology from a credited university or professional graduate school. A Neuropsychologist may also have accomplished additional graduate level assignments in Neurosciences, such as Neuroanatomy, Neurology, Neuropsychological Assessment, Neuropathology, Neuroradiology, etc.
What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation is a complete evaluation of behavioral, cognitive, and emotional functioning performed using standardized procedures and tests. A Neuropsychologist uses an extensive variety of pencil/paper and computerized tests that are very delicate to even mild brain dysfunction. At the accomplishment of the report, the Neuropsychologist reviews the results of the assessment with the patient and his/her relatives and makes treatment endorsements. A copy of the report is also sent to the referring doctor and other health care providers.
How Can The Patient Benefit From the Results?
The results of a neuropsychological assessment can assist your doctor elucidate weaknesses, differentiate among illnesses (Stroke vs. traumatic brain injury vs. Alzheimer’s vs. depression), establish a standard before surgical procedure or before problems are perceived, plan treatment that uses strengths to reimburse feebleness. Dr. Curtis Cripe’s work shows that neuroengineering is a significant approach to solving brain-based behavior problems.