Neuropsychology

Download the  Semmes Murphey Neuropsychology brochure in PDF format.

What is Neuropsychology?

Neuropsychology is a medical specialty focused on understanding the link between the brain and behavior. A neuropsychologist diagnoses and treats brain disorders that impact how the brain remembers, solves problems or pays attention. Pediatric neuropsychologists have medical expertise in the brain development of children, including academic, language and social skills.

 

 

Who needs a Neuropsychologist?

Patients are often referred to a neuropsychologist if they are having problems or changes in memory, concentration, language, reasoning, perception, coordination or personality. These can occur as a result of a brain injury, illness, disease, developmental delay or psychological issue.

Pediatric Neuropsychology

A neuropsychological evaluation may help children with:

  • neurological disorders such as spina bifida, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, or a brain tumor.
  • brain injuries from a trauma to the head, stroke, lack of oxygen, or an infection.
  • medical problems such as prematurity, diabetes, chronic heart or breathing problems, genetic disorders, or treatment for childhood cancer
  • exposure to lead, street drugs, or inhalants (carbon monoxide)
  • exposure to alcohol, smoking, or certain drugs prior to birth
  • developmental or school problems such as a learning disability, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or autism spectrum disorder/pervasive developmental disorder

What happens during a Neuropsychological evaluation?

Be prepared to discuss symptoms, medical history and medications. Patients complete pencil and paper tests, computer tests and sometimes exercises with blocks or puzzles. With the patient’s permission, the neuropsychologist may interview family members or others who can offer insight. Depending on the patient, the evaluation may be as brief as an hour or involve many appointments spread over several days.

In the case of pediatric evaluation, the child’s medical and school records are reviewed. Very young children and infants can also be evaluated through a briefer process.

How should I prepare for the evaluation?

It’s best to arrive relaxed and well-rested. If you wear glasses or hearing aids, be sure to bring them, along with any medical records or medications your doctor may have requested. If you take any medications, check with your neuropsychologist about timing and dosage before your appointment.

 

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