If you suffer from a blow to the head, there is a possibility you may have a traumatic brain injury (contusion, concussion or a hematoma) that can lead to more serious conditions like brain damage or wrongful death. Trying to diagnose yourself after you hit your head could be a bad idea. Unless you are actually a doctor, there is a chance that you may mistake a headache a common symptom in many traumatic brain injuries as a mere headache. That common mistake can turn fatal if your brain injury gets worse.The best thing you can do after a traumatic brain injury is go to a hospital and get your head examined by a doctor. Specialized doctors called neuropsychologists may be called in to make an additional diagnosis to help treatment and recovery.
What Is A Neuropsychologist?Neuropsychologists are doctors who are specifically licensed in the psychology field. Neuropsychologists usually have a Ph.D. in psychology with additional experience and training in neuropsychology. With the help of standardized tests and their background in brain anatomy, neuropsychologists gauge a persons brain function (intellectual, cognitive or behavioral functions).Neuropsychologists are not necessarily medical doctors. They act more as consultants who work closely with teachers, physicians and other professionals to asses an individuals brain functioning. Neuropsychologists commonly work in their own practices or in other hospitals and clinics.If you hit your head and show signs of problems with memory and/or thinking, the doctor treating you may refer you to a neuropsychologist. A neuropsychological evaluation may be needed to be done to find out how much brain function is damaged. Neurological evaluations can be used to make or confirm a diagnosis, find problems with brain functioning and guide treatments like rehab, special education or vocational counseling if theyre needed.If the neuropsychologist detects any problems in perception or coordination, tests may be conducted to find out just how severe the brain injury is. The test itself may examine one or more of the following brain functions:
- General intellect
- Motor functions