What are neuropsychiatric disorders?

According to the Oxford Textbook of Medicine, neuropsychiatric disorders are “disorders of affect, cognition, and behavior that arise from overt disorder in cerebral function, or from indirect effects of extra-cerebral disease.” In other words, they are typically attributed to diseases that originate from the nervous system, such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. However, they may also occur due to indirect causes such as traumatic head injuries (TBI), infections, medication side effects, or may even be related to trauma or environmental factors, such exposure to noise, air pollution, heavy metals, or toxic compounds. Examples of neuropsychiatric disorders include depression, schizophrenia, and narcolepsy. The symptoms of these disorders tend to impact brain function (focus, learning, memory), emotion (sadness, happiness, irritability), and mood, and can include variety of other psychiatric and/or neurological symptoms. Common treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders include medications and psychological and/or psychiatric therapy; however, specific treatments will vary based on the precise cause, clinical presentation, and severity.

If you would like to learn more, take a look at the more than 700 articles on neuropsychiatric disorders that NARIC’s information specialists found in REHABDATA or contact NARIC’s information specialists for resources in your area.

About mpgarcia

I'm the Bilingual Information/Media Specialist at NARIC.
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