Neurobehavioral disorders often remain undiagnosed. A patient may offer a complaint that may not be recognized by their physician as a potentially treatable part of their seizure disorder. Cognitive and behavioral disorders are accurately diagnosed by identifying symptoms, classifying the syndrome, discovering the etiology, and localizing the brain area of dysfunction.

The diagnosis and treatment of behavioral disorders is limited by omissions and misconceptions by both the patient and doctor. An easy way to control for these scenarios is for the physician to simply ask the patient how they really feel while making direct eye contact. Many psychological and neurological disorders cause the patient to neglect or deny their feelings and problems, thus a patient may be reluctant to share what is really going on. In the diagnostic process physicians will often interview the patient’s family members, friends, and caretakers in order to get a more holistic view.

Authored by: Steven C. Schachter, MD | Joseph I. Sirven, MD
Reviewed by: Joseph I. Sirven, MD | Patricia O. Shafer, RN, MN on 8/2013
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