Neuropsychology is a science and a branch of medicine which you may not have heard of before but this is something which is helping thousands of people around the world. There are some geniuses in this field, people like the brilliant Dr. Curtis Cripe who have dedicated their lives to the implementation and the advancement of neuropsychology. We were fortunate enough to catch up with Dr. Cripe at a recent medical convention to dig a little deeper into what exactly is neuropsychology, let’s have a look.
Neuropsychology is actually a branch of psychology which of course studies the mind. This branch combines characteristics of both psychology and neurology and it is about our understanding of the brain’s physiological functions, and how this contributes towards cognitive function and behavior. We all know that there are many mental disorders out there which are in fact brain disorders, the role of a neuropsychologist is to focus on the causes of these issues, and deciphering what is a neurological disorder and which is a physical disorder, as well as treating the issue.
Range of Treatments
There is a huge range of medical issues which a neuropsychologist will look at that fall under the mental/psychological banner. Here are just some of the issues which can be treated by this specialist branch of medicine.
- Learning Disorders
- Hyperactivity Disorder
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Endocrine Disorders
- Brain Tumors
- Brain Cancer
- Seizure Disorders
- Sex Chromosome Abnormalities
- Klinefelter Syndrome
- Motor Neuron Diseases
As you can see there is a wide range of medical and behavioral issues which neuropsychology is able to treat.
Differences With Psychology
It is important that whilst we recognize that this is a branch of psychology, the two actually differ greatly. For example neuropsychologists must have significantly more training than a psychologist and this is because they must both understand the mind and its behaviors, as well as having a deep understanding of neurology and how each brain function can contribute towards these behaviors. The role of a neuropsychologist is to work with patients who display signs of mental health issues, and the dig deeper to find out root cause and treatment.
Within this they will look into focus and attention, intellectual functioning, academic functioning, adaptive functioning ,personality, basic motor skills and speed, memory, speech and language and the ability to visualize. Each aspect of what the brain does needs to be understood and more importantly the consequences of any aspect the brain which is not functioning as it should be.
How to Become a Neuropsychologist
To forge career in this field it is essential that you have studied neuropsychology at university level and obtained a degree in the subject.Once this is complete then you will have to attend medical school in order to obtain your license to practice medicine, and then much like doctors do, you will spend 4-6 years in a clinical setting until you are granted your license.