NC Neuropsychiatry (NCN) is the only specialized, multidisciplinary neuropsychiatry clinic in the state. Neuropsychiatry is a specialty of psychiatry, sometimes called “medical psychiatry.” What we do requires skills from psychiatry, as well as from neurology and neuropsychology. We specialize in patients with difficult cognitive, behavioral or emotional problems, especially those related to a medical or a neurological condition.
NCN began as a research clinic funded by the National Institutes of Health. Our doctors have contributed more than 150 peer-reviewed articles to the medical literature in the fields of psychiatry, neurology and neuropsychology. In the past, we have done clinical trials for new medications. We have done more than 50 clinical trials for all of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers, and for many new drugs. Now, our research interests are mainly concerned with new methods for patient evaluation, and the development of new tests.
Evaluations at NCN are comprehensive and include a neurological examination, a mental status examination, psychological tests and cognitive testing. The evaluations are different for patients with different complaints or conditions; a simple evaluation may take two hours, a more complex evaluation, six hours. Highly specialized evaluations are done by a psychologist and neuropsychologists on staff at NCN.
Our physicians, psychologists and mid-level providers are trained in the differential diagnosis and treatment of disorders occurring in children and adolescents. About one third of our patients are referred by pediatricians.
Geriatric Neuropsychiatry is a medical subspecialty that addresses intellectual and emotional changes in the elderly. A mild decline in mental ability is seen in old age but when it results in a loss of independent function, there is often an identifiable disorder occurring.
Because of our experience treating patients of different ages and varying backgrounds with psychiatric, neurological and medical conditions, we have cultivated unique experience with the problem of differential diagnosis in neuropsychiatry. A substantial number of referrals to our practice come from neurologists, psychiatrists and psychologists who want to take advantage of our experience in evaluating patients with complicated or unusual conditions.
ADHD is said to affect 10% of the school-age population; the condition persists into adult life. ADHD is almost certainly over-diagnosed, and the evaluation process is usually based on nothing more than subjective impressions. Patients with ADHD are the largest single group of patients at our neuropsychiatry clinics, and our evaluation is objective and empirical.
Many people have memory concerns as they grow older. Our memory is affected as we grow older, but sometimes, it is more than normal aging and could be early dementia. We have board-certified physicians in Behavioral Neurology & Neuropsychiatry who have specialized training in memory disorders and can help patients understand what is normal for their age and what is abnormal, and treat those who already have a diagnosis of dementia.
Anxiety, depression and other disorders of mood are among the most common medical conditions. More than 10% of the population is affected in any given year. But anxiety and depression are not simple conditions or easy to diagnose. There are many different kinds of anxiety and mood disorders. The appropriate evaluation and treatment varies accordingly.
Neurological disorders can cause mood, behavioral, and cognitive disorders. Traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease are among the neurological disorders that can cause significant psychiatric consequences as part of the brain damage the diseases cause. We have physicians board-certified by the United Council of Neurological Subspecialties in Behavioral Neurology & Neuropsychiatry who specialize in just these issues.
Developmental Disorders are those conditions that exist from a very early age, and often before birth. They can be caused by abnormalities before, during, and after birth, and are often first appreciated in childhood. Examples include learning disabilities, mental retardation, and autism spectrum disorders, but can also include a variety of less common presenting conditions. They can be caused by immune disorders, infectious disease, and genetic abnormalities.
With traumatic brain injury occurring every 21 seconds, this public health concern ranks as the leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults. For those who survive and their families, brain injury is life altering. Serious physical impairments are a frequent result, as are a variety of cognitive, behavioral and emotional complications. In addition, the costs related to brain injury are staggering. Individuals with severe brain injury typically face 5 to 10 years of intensive rehabilitation with cumulative costs exceeding $35 billion annually.
North Carolina Neuropsychiatry has extensive experience providing Independent Medical Evaluations (IME), medicolegal neuropsychological assessments, and record reviews for children and adults.
Neuropsychology is a subspecialty field of psychology that focuses on the relationship between behavior and brain function. This is done with a battery of tests and detailed interview. A neuropsychological assessment is the most thorough method for assessing for cognitive and/or academic problems.