Neuropsychology is the study of brain-behavior relationships and the impact of brain injury or disease on the cognitive, sensorimotor, emotional and general capabilities of an individual. Clinically, its application is carried out in the form of diagnostic evaluations which attempt to indentify the nature, or extent of injury to the brain. In some cases, the injury may be uncertain, and neuropsychological assessment is helpful in clarifying the neurological injury (e.g. mild head trauma or early dementia). In other cases, the injury may be more obvious and neuropsychological assessment may be helpful in tracking the course of a disease or delineating the behavioral sequelae of a brain injury (e.g., stroke, tumor, or severe head trauma).
Central to a neuropsychological evaluation is testing. Dr. Schwalbe may administer a brief battery (1 to 2 hours) of tests or in other cases, a longer battery (4 to 7 hours) to better understand the nature of the neurological injury. At the completion of testing, Dr. Schwalbe interprets findings and integrates them with historical data, unique aspects of individual performance, and the life situation of each client.
The results of a neuropsychological evaluation can help to guide treatment. Depending on the nature of the problem, the results might indicate that an individual’s current plan of treatment ought to be modified, changed, or that a new plan altogether should be initiated. Treatment for neuropsychological dysfunction can occur in the form of cognitive remediation or medication. As a psychologist, Dr. Schwalbe does not prescribe medication, however, recommendations for referrals to neurologists and psychiatrists can be made.