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Neuropsychology - Vimhans.Com

Neuropsychology is the study of the relationship between brain and behaviour. By behaviour we mean higher mental functions (like attention, perception, memory, language, reasoning, decision making, problem solving, ability to form and understand abstract concepts, classify things under certain categories, mental manipulation of objects or symbols) as well as emotional and physical behaviour.

The brain is the centre of control of all thought, emotion and behaviour. Therefore any injury or impact to it (in the form of tumor, stroke, trauma) would lead to some form of impairment or damage to existing function. Conversely, any psychiatric or neurologic illness (psychosis, substance abuse, epilepsy, dementia etc.) would almost always lead to some cognitive impairment. Neuropsychology aims to address such symptoms arising in a person with damage to the brain. It does so with the help of certain assessment tools or batteries (collection of tools) and through cognitive retraining and remediation of these impaired functions.

Neuropsychological assessment is an objective and comprehensive assessment of a wide range of cognitive and behavioural areas of functioning.Serial assessments can demonstrate the course of the improvements/deterioration in functions over time and help to modify the treatment modality. Treatment plan is made on the basis of the strengths and impairments observed objectively during the assessment. It is a non-invasive procedure and uses interview, observation and psychological testing only.

Areas covered in such assessment would include the following:-

  • Orientation
  • Sensation / perception
  • Attention
  • Motor functions
  • Visuo-spatial functions
  • Language
  • Memory
  • Abstract reasoning
  • Emotional distress
  • Activities of daily living

Knowledge of the mechanisms underlying cerebral functions can provide a rational basis for designing rehabilitation programs for brain-injured patients. Intervention strategies encompassing the use of visual imagery, patient self-instruction, re-education and drill as well as computer-based techniques are being used in the field of cognitive retraining and remediation. At VIMHANS, the neuropsychology unit is working in close co-ordination with the departments of:

  • Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Neuro-surgery
  • Neuro-rehab

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