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What does a Neuropsychologist do?

In this article, we look at neuropsychology and its role in supporting people who are affected by a neurological problem

Neuropsychologists specialise in understanding the brain and how changes to it may affect our emotions, our behaviour and our ability to think (cognition).

A neuropsychologist is trained to assess and treat people who experience difficulties with memory, concentration, planning, language, reasoning, and other aspects of learning and understanding. Fatigue is another factor which can affect someone’s psychology and ability to process information.

Neuropsychologists are also able to support people who are experiencing:

  • Emotional changes (including anxiety and depression)
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Difficulty in adjusting to life following diagnosis or treatment

You might be referred to a neuropsychologist following a head injury or a stroke (including subarachnoid haemorrhage) to help assess how severe the injury is and plan your rehabilitation.

Neuropsychologists can also play an important role in the diagnosis and management of other conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

The following are some quotes about how people felt they benefited from seeing a neuropsychologist:

“I’ve mainly taken away practical things, like routine and filling a diary.”

“I learned not to compare myself with other people.”

“I have limitations and I have to do things differently.”

After a neuropsychological assessment, you may be given ways to help you manage some of the problems that have been identified. The assessment can also provide valuable information for rehabilitation involving other health professionals and include issues related to treatment and returning to work and independent living.

Neuropsychology can play an important part in helping you to understand and manage your neurological problem. Some people find it helpful to see a neuropsychologist with a member of their family, so they too can understand the problems you are facing and how they can best support you.