What Is Neuropsychology?
A clinical neuropsychologist is defined by the National Academy of Neuropsychology as a professional within the field of psychology with special expertise in the applied science of brain-behavior relationships. This knowledge is used in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and/or rehabilitation of patients across the lifespan with neurological, medical, neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions, as well as other cognitive and learning disorders. The neuropsychologist uses several types of measures to evaluate neurocognitive, behavioral, and emotional strengths and weaknesses in relation to normal and abnormal central nervous system functioning. He/She then uses this data and information provided by other specialists to identify and diagnose neurobehavioral disorders and plan intervention strategies. The breadth and specificity, from a neuro-anatomical perspective, of evaluations are both exclusive to neuropsychology. The neuropsychologist develops a test battery specific to the needs of each individual patient based on the referral question, history, and presentation. A clinical neuropsychologist is trained to comprehensively evaluate any and all of the following as part of a comprehensive evaluation:

•  Intellectual ability (IQ)
•  Academic achievement (reading/comprehension, writing, math) and academic fluency
•  Language – expressive/oral, receptive, and written
•  Auditory processing 
•  Motor and visuomotor integration skills
•  Visual-perceptual and visual-spatial skills
•  Memory – all processes including encoding, consolidation and storage, retrieval (spont. & cued) and 
    all subtypes (verbal/nonverbal, episodic, semantic, procedural, temporal, etc.)
•  Executive functions – e.g., attention, concentration, processing speed, cognitive 
    organization, planning, problem-solving, cognitive flexibility/set-shifting, response 
    control, reasoning, inhibition, task persistence, inhibition of distractibility, etc.
•  Personality (when indicated)
•  Mood and anxiety disorders secondary to neurological disorders

Neuropsychological evaluation is indicated for cases wherein brain-based impairment in cognitive/ psychological functioning or behavior is suspected. Evaluations are especially helpful in tracking a patient's progress after the onset of a neurological disease (e.g., Alzheimer's, Epilepsy) or brain injury (TBI, stroke). Evaluations can also be helpful (and in some cases imperative) in planning educational programs and in working with vocational specialists to develop a rehab program. Evaluations are also requested to assist in disability determination related to a neurological disorder, readiness to return to work after a neurological injury, and for litigation/legal cases. For learning-related consults, Dr. Richie utilizes assessment measures recognized by the Department of Education and approved by standardized testing companies to ensure compatibility with requirements. Common referral diagnoses include (but not limited to):   

•  Epilepsy/Seizure Disorders
•  Traumatic Brain Injury
•  Autism Spectrum Disorder
•  Perinatal Stroke (e.g., grade III or IV intraventricular hemorrhage)
•  Adult stroke/CVA (e.g., left MCA infarct, intracranial hemorrhage)
•  Learning Disabilities - includes neurologically-based concerns like dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia
•  Concussion and post-concussive syndrome (including sports-related injuries)
•  Neurofibromatosis
•  Encephalitis, Meningitis
•  Tuberous Sclerosis
•  Brain tumor and other childhood cancers (especially before and after surgical resection)
•  Hydrocephalus (congenital and acquired)
•  Myelomeningocele/Spina Bifida
•  Toxin exposure - includes environmental toxins like carbon monoxide and lead
•  Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) & exposure to other teratogens (e.g., illicit drugs)
•  Multiple Sclerosis and other demyelinating disorders
•  Parkinson's and other movement disorders
•  Alzheimer's disease, Vascular/Multi-Infarct Dementia, and other dementias
•  Mild Neurocognitive Disorder/Mild Cognitive Impairment
•  Aphasias and Apraxias
•  Neuropsychiatric Disorders