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What is Neuropsychiatry:



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What is neuropsychiatry ?

First, neuropsychiatry is NOT neuropsychology.  This is a frequent misunderstanding.  Neuropsychology is an academic field of psychology involving the study and use of testing methods (questionnaires, one on one testing, etc), also called 'psychometrics,' focused on brain functions, such as language, visual motor coordination, and memory.  Clinical neuropsychologists usually work with children or adults in clinic or hospital settings; School neuropsychologists work with children and adolescents in school or other academic settings.  Neuropsychologists are NOT MDs. They are NOT medical doctors with medical training and can thus, NOT prescribe medications, and in most states, they cannot testify about the causation of illnesses and disorders.  They usually have PhDs, PsyDs, or DEds; these are all doctorates in academic areas of behavioral science, NOT medicine.

Neuropsychiatry is the medical subspecialty combining knowledge and methods from psychiatry and neurology for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases or disorders in the brain, spinal cord or peripheral nervous system.  Neuropsychiatrists are, first, MD medical doctors, who are also neurobiologically oriented psychiatrists who have additional extensive training in internal medicine and neurology.  They are board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and may have other related board certifications in areas such as brain trauma medicine, neurophysiology, or pain medicine.  Neuropsychiatrists might use medications, injections, electrotherapies, and behavioral interventions, such as behavior therapy, to treat the disorders they diagnose.

Neuropsychiatrists sometimes work with Neuropsychologists and Neuroradiologists for psychometric testing and Neuro-imaging, respectively.  Some Neuropsychiatrists with the appropriate training  perform their own psychometric testing and imaging.

The conditions that are diagnosed and treated by Neuropsychiatrists include traumatic brain injury, headache disorders, neuromuscular disorders, peripheral nerve injury, stroke, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, and aberrations of brain chemistry that produce depressive, anxiety, bipolar and psychotic spectrum disorders.



 

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