Overview of behavioral neurology
A behavioral neurologist analyzes and treats cognitive and behavioral impairments resulting from a brain disorder or injury. Symptoms may include impaired memory, perception, cognition or emotional state. Because neuroendocrinology and behavioral neurology patients often share the same symptoms, finding the underlying basis for a disorder is key to managing it correctly. Many doctors fail to recognize this overlap between hormones and brain function, leading to incorrect diagnoses.
Behavioral neurology includes three common types of clinical syndromes:
- Prevalence and multifocal brain disorders that affect cognition and behaviour.
- Neurobehavioral syndromes associated with focal brain injury
- Neuropsychiatric manifestations of neurological disorders (for example, depression, mania, mood, anxiety, personality changes or obsessive-compulsive disorders, which may be accompanied by epilepsy, cerebrovascular disease, traumatic brain injury or multiple sclerosis).
The clinical speciality of behavioral neurology requires a unique combination of knowledge and skills beyond the scope of a general neurologist, including:
- Functional behaviour is applied to interact with clinical outcomes with structural and functional brain markers provided by neuroanatomy, neuroimaging and electrophysiology methods.
- Performance and interpretation of psychological tests, including neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric evaluations.
Department of behavioral neurology
Behavioral neurology covers a wide range of basic neuroscientific and clinical aspects of knowledge and behavior, and emotions. For ecclesiastical purposes, it can be divided into five main areas:
- Neurobiological bases of behavior.
- Neurobehavioral and aphasic syndromes.
- Examination of neurobehavioral and mental status.
- Neuropsychological evaluation.
- Neuropsychopharmacology and patient management.
The basic disciplinary areas in behavioral neurology require a basic knowledge of neuroanatomic.
Neurochemical, neurophysiological and neurobiological substrates of complex behavioral development, and Clinical characteristics of neurobehavioral syndromes, pathophysiological correlates, diagnosis and treatment management.
Combined with five major disciplinary areas, and the six clinical / research focus areas specialize in age-related disorders, the interface between neurology and psychiatry, or specific research or therapeutic approaches.
- Neurobehavioral Disorders of Childhood and Early Childhood
- Neurology of geriatric behavior
- Neuroimaging and neurophysiology
- Cognitive neuroscience
Neurobiological basis of behavior
Behavioral Neuroscience was considered a ‘soft’ science, with the search for new molecules and the cellular functions of the molecules being the leading model illustrating what was considered essential to be studied to understand brain function. This has drastically changed in the last decade, particularly with the publication of the human genome and later on that of other species (notably the mouse one). The time came when the need for placing molecules in ‘context’ and identifying the role of the molecules in the behaving animal became clearly apparent.
Dysfunction of higher cortical function and neurobehavioral syndromes may be present in up to 87% of stroke patients. These symptoms may occur less often in patients with transient ischemic attacks (36%). Approximately 22% of stroke patients may present only with cognitive and neurobehavioral symptoms without elementary neurological deficits.
Examination of neurobehavioral and mental status
The Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination (NCSE), is a screening examination that assesses cognition in a brief but quantitative fashion, uses independent tests to evaluate functioning within five major cognitive ability areas: language, constructions, memory, calculations, and reasoning.
The examination separately assesses the level of consciousness, orientation, and attention. This instrument quickly identifies intact areas of functioning, yet provides a more detailed assessment in areas of dysfunction.
A neuropsychological evaluation, also called neuropsychological testing, is an in-depth assessment of skills and abilities linked to brain function. The evaluation measures such areas as attention, problem-solving, memory, language, I.Q., visual-spatial skills, academic skills, and social-emotional functioning. A neuropsychological evaluation is different from tests included in a neurological evaluation (e.g., EEG) or neuroimaging (e.g., CT or MRI scan).