Neuropsychology is a discipline which studies the relationship between the brain and behavior. The neuropsychologists at Fort Wayne Neuropsychology work closely with physicians and neurologists to create the best care plans for patients through testing to determine the extent of brain injuries, illnesses or other abnormalities and subsequent cognitive problems. There may be a need for a number of different therapeutic interventions.
“We started as a department of the Fort Wayne Neurological Center 27 years ago,” says Dr. Ron Williams. “When we physically outgrew their facilities, we agreeably managed to form our own practice here, while maintaining a close relationship with them in caring for patients.”
“A neuropsychologist is a psychologist with specialized training in neurological, or brain-based, conditions and how those conditions impact thinking, behavior and emotions,” says Dr. Tasha Williams.
“We are psychologists by license,” explains Dr. Ron Williams. “But we also have a knowledge and understanding of neurological systems because there is, of course, a connection between those.”
Patients at Fort Wayne Neuropsychology generally can expect to be seen for an initial background interview, followed by a testing or assessment session and culminating in a detailed review of findings with a host of recommendations for treatment or management. Future follow-up evaluations and consultations may also be recommended.
One of the common challenges faced in the field of psychology is that there is most certainly a stigma attached to the term “psychology,” Dr. Ron Williams explains. “When people hear ‘neuropsychology’ I think it softens the stigma a bit because it brings in the medical/neurological aspect as well,” he says.
“Sometimes it’s an obstacle when physicians don’t have experience with nor a full understanding of neuropsychology and how we can contribute to the care of the patient in a way that differs from the work of a ‘traditional’ psychologist,” says Dr. Tasha Williams. “Once physicians understand exactly what we do, they really see the value of our work.”
Drs. Williams and the other neuropsychologists in the practice, including Dr. Peter Dodzik, Dr. Christina Stemmler, Dr. Jacob Lutz, and Dr. Erin Miles, supported by their team of Master’s level psychometricians help physicians determine the nature and severity of different brain conditions like stroke, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, learning disabilities and many others. Three of the neuropsychologists on staff are board certified in addition to their licensure, a classification seen in only two percent of practicing neuropsychologists. The practice is also known for its work with younger patients in diagnosing such conditions as Autism spectrum disorders, learning disorders and other childhood neurological conditions. Clarifying the exact cognitive condition and its effect on abilities is integral to ensuring the patient receives the proper care tailored to their specific needs. “Sometimes medical testing alone is unable to detect specific functional deficits that may be present, which cognitive testing can detect,” Dr. Tasha Williams says. “We also assist with tracking patients over time to see if the medications and therapies being used are effective in treating the conditions. This is important in making decisions regarding management, returning to work, anticipated limitations etc.”
The role of a neuropsychologist has changed over the years as technology improves. Years ago, physicians used neuropsychologists to help identify the location of a brain abnormality. With the advent of CT scans and MRI, the role of the neuropsychologist has evolved to describing how an abnormality will ultimately affect the behavior, mood and the abilities of a patient and how he or she will function. There is a strong correlation between medical conditions and psychology, as brain injuries can often become entangled with emotional and psychological issues. A neuropsychologist also assists in sorting out these contributing factors and recommending appropriate treatment.
Fort Wayne Neuropsychology hopes to continue its well-known, highly regarded reputation as neuropsychological professionals and the largest practice of its kind in northeast Indiana. “There are other practices that offer a combination of services, but we strictly focus on neuropsychology, something uniquely specialized for our patients,” says Dr. Tasha Williams.
Address: 4306 E. State Blvd. Fort Wayne, Indiana 46815
Phone: (260) 460-3203