Our Program

Neuropsychology, part of USC Neurosciences at Keck Medical Center of USC in Los Angeles, is the study of how brain dysfunction alters behavior. Different neurological disorders have distinct neuropsychological presentations, such as distinct patterns of changes in a patient’s behavior and cognitive skills. For the neurologist, a patient’s neuropsychological presentation can be critical for diagnostic and treatment purposes. For patients, neuropsychology can help to provide insight into specific problems they may be encountering and can guide them as they adapt and cope with these changes. Our neuropsychologists work closely with our neurologists, neurosurgeons, clinical psychologists and social workers to provide optimal care for each patient’s unique needs.

Our Approach

A clinical neuropsychological assessment includes tests of attention, memory, language, visual skills and emotional status. The results provide information about a patient’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Very often a patient is relieved to discover that their skills are better than they thought. When cognitive difficulties are revealed, new approaches to learning and memory can be developed. Stress, anxiety and depression can impair cognitive functioning. When high levels of emotional distress are identified referrals are made so that appropriate medication and psychotherapy can be provided.

Conditions

The Neuropsychology Program at Keck Medical Center of USC in Los Angeles addresses cognitive and behavioral changes.

The program assists patients with head trauma, stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, as well as Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Treatments and Services

Our neuropsychologists can help to identify and provide compensatory strategies for the neuropsychological effects of neurological disorders.

  1. A clinical neuropsychological assessment includes tests of attention, memory, language, visual skills and emotional status. The results provide information about a patient’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses.
  2. When cognitive difficulties are revealed, new approaches to learning and memory can be developed. For example, if a patient’s visual memory is better than their verbal memory they are encouraged to display information visually through the use of color, charts and graphs.
  3. Stress, anxiety and depression can impair cognitive functioning. When high levels of emotional distress are identified, referrals are made so that appropriate medication and psychotherapy can be provided.

Our Faculty

Lina D’Orazio, PhD
Carol McCleary, PhD
Kecia Watari Knoell, PhD