Welcome greeting of the president

Welcome to the Association for Neuropsychology Austria (Gesellschaft für Neuropsychologie Österreich - GNPÖ).

The GNPÖ takes care of the concerns of its members and represents them to decision makers and politicians.

The GNPÖ is a non-profit organisation, it acts national and international. As a founding member of the Federation of the European Societies of Neuropsychology (FESN) it works together with national European organisations in the field of neuroscience and their representatives.

The main aim is to increase the level of awareness of the clinical neuropsychology and to strengthen the position of the professional guild in the health care system.

Quality management of the different areas of application of neuropsychology is the request of the GNPÖ. The association takes care of education in providing a certificate for persons and institutions, as well as the development of  standards.

What can you expect of the GNPÖ?

  • We represent over 350 members who work in practical or scientific areas.
  • We want to improve the health care system, by promoting neuropsychology as science, which is interdisciplinary.
  • We submit statements and papers of our experts, as well as ideas of improvement to our governors and the minister of health.
  • We organise conferences, meetings and advanced training courses. We take part in international conferences to initiate networking with persons of interest.
  • We offer a broad theoretical education with certificate at three different venues of Austria. We help in finding places for traineeship. We support a list of supervisors.
  • We act jointly with the Austrian Professional Association (Berufsverband Österreichischer Psychologinnen und Psychologen – BÖP).

Quarterly we provide our journal “Zeitschrift für Neuropsychologie” with professional articles and activities of the executive board.

For our patients the neuropsychologists do a highly specialised diagnostic work, which is standardised and evidence based. On this basis neuropsychologists can give advice to neurological patients for their rehabilitation. After brain injury the clinical neuropsychological treatment is one of the most important factors to support recovery and to ensure an increase of quality of life.

If you visited the website to get answers, I hope you found them. If there are further questions, don’t hesitate to contact the association. No matter if you are a member or a visitor, I hope that you had an informative and comfortable visit. I woild be pleased to read your feedback!

 

Sandra M. Lettner

President  

Neuropsychology – from brain to behaviour

Neuropsychology is a young profession, which is concerned with brain functions on the one hand, and the behaviour and experiences on the other hand. Neuropsychology is a scientific area, involving both, psychology and neurology. 

The focal points of research are the own experiences, the behaviour and the neurological changes. Behaviour and reported insights of individuals may be related to single cognitive domains or functions. Such domains are for instance perception, attention, learning, intellectual and executive functions such as reasoning and planing, language, comprehension, writing, reading and motor functions. In this scientific approach, human personality is included as an essential part. 

Brain functionality may be impaired by damaging impacts in a transient or permanent way. Sustaining cognitive deficits appear first of all with neurological diseases e.g. traumatic brain injury, stroke, cerebral tumour, epilepsy, dementia, and others. Deficits may be very specific and depend on, which areas of the brain or it´s connections are damaged. In the Developmental Neuropsychology there may be cognitive dysfunctions without visible brain damage. These may appear with disorders of psychological development, for instance a development language disorder coming with perinatal hypoxia; hyperactivity or learning disorders following preterm birth.

The varied scopes of neuropsychology reach from basic research to applied research and its implementation in the clinical practice such as neuropsychological diagnostics, treatment and rehabilitation of cognitive deficits.

Core tasks in the neuropsychological diagnostics are the assessment of the capability and the behaviour of an individual, the description of cognitive deficits, but also the clarification of sustaining and excellent abilities. This differentiated approach is necessary for planning therapy in an efficient and economical way.

Diagnostics accompanying therapy may quantify the effectiveness of the treatment (neuropsychological or medical treatment, logopedic therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy or psychotherapy).

The assignment for diagnostics in the form of clinical or expert reports may be given by the patient, by their physician, an institution, looking after the patient, or by the court.

Neuropsychological expert reports are requested to facilitate the decision making about measures of rehabilitation, career choice, occupational retraining, claim for damages or entitlement to maintenance as well as to support the decisions concerning issues of employment, social and criminal law.

 Purposes of the neuropsychological rehabilitation are recovery or compensation of impaired cognitive capabilities, at an optimal level, and the treatment of behavioural and emotional disorders. Among other clinical psychological methods, a specific training of impaired cognitive functions is applied, inclusive the development of persistent resources and the learning of new strategies to face the altered life situation.

The main purpose is saving and improving the quality of life of the person concerned, in regard to the familial, social and occupational aspects.

The research of emotional, functional, structural and neurobiological links in the brain is the basis for neuropsychological diagnostics and treatment.