After a neuropsychologist finishes up his or her breakfast and heads out to work, just what does he or she do all day? Well, as it turns out, the career of a neuropsychologist is quite varied and there are opportunities to work in a variety of settings with myriad types of people.
But before we see what one does, let's be sure to define neuropsychology. One university hospital defines neuropsychology as "a science that measures how behavior demonstrates the problems of brain function. While neurology is focused primarily on the brain, its structures and connections, neuropsychology is focused on the mind, or how the brain interacts with the world [source: University of Washinton Medical Center]."
Neuropsychologists, then, often work in multidisciplinary teams composed of neurosurgeons, neurologists and other medical providers who help individuals suffering from traumas such as strokes, brain injuries, psychiatric disorders, developmental disorders and even the negative effects of substance abuse. They must have an understanding of both mental health challenges and neuroscience so they can help patients and their families -- be it in rehabilitation centers, neuroscience centers, research facilities or even as witnesses in court settings. They can employ various tests to help their patients, including such tests as language assessments, personality tests, problem solving evaluations and other mental and behavioral examinations.
Conducting an examination following a possible sports concussion -- so often in the news today -- presents a good example of the type of case on which a neuropsychologist will often work. That's not surprising given the popularity of sports across all ages, and the fact that there are about 135,000 sports/recreation-related traumatic brain injuries per year in children between the ages of 5 and 18 [source: Centers for Disease Control]. Such injuries may require a neuropsychologist to spend some two to three hours reviewing the results of a series of neurocognitive tests [source: University of Washinton Medical Center].
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