Clinical Neuropsychology of Brain Injury and Sports Concussions Track
The program has a primary clinical emphasis, and is designed to prepare its graduates for the independent clinical practice of neuropsychology as a specialty, with additional expertise working with sports related concussions and more severe head injuries. The track also provides exposure to a multidisciplinary team, and provides trainees a significant amount of protected time (~30%) to participate in clinical research in concussion/head injury.
Head injuries, especially sports related concussions, have become a major focus of attention in recent years in the media, largely due to research (human, neuroimaging, and laboratory) suggesting that alterations in brain functioning may have clinically relevant neurobehavioral consequences, even if transient. In both concussion and more severe head injuries, various factors predict the course of recovery, including nature of the injury itself, as well as premorbid functioning, family functioning, and comorbidities, including psychiatric and psychological factors.
The fellow in this track will be part of the newly formed UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, which is a multidisciplinary and comprehensive center providing clinical care, research opportunities (laboratory and clinical), community outreach, and education. Approximately 50% of the fellow’s time will be spent providing direct clinical services. Specifically, clinical training will encompass ~30% time working in a multidisciplinary team, providing clinical services, including neuropsychological assessment and brief treatment primarily to youth concussion patients, as well as exposure to patients with more severe head injuries, retired professional athletes, and service members. The remainder of the clinical hours (~20%) will include taking a general neuropsychology clinical case (roughly 1 complex/pediatric or 2 brief evaluations a month) in the Medical Psychology Assessment Center (MPAC), which will provide the fellow exposure to greater clinical breadth and a more well-rounded training. For the remainder of the fellow’s time, training will involve a rich, weekly didactic curriculum (≈20%) including lectures/Wada/surgery cases, as well as active participation in one or more of a wide spectrum of ongoing clinical and/or laboratory research opportunities (≈30%) through the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, including multi-center studies on youth concussion as well as advanced neuroimaging.
This track is an expansion of the current collaboration between the Medical Psychology Assessment Center and the newly formed UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, which is designed to exponentially expand clinical, research, and community outreach work that has been ongoing within the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery’s Brain Injury Center as well as the division of Pediatric Neurology at UCLA. It connects the best of UCLA’s multidisciplinary faculty with both clinical and research skills as a comprehensive approach to assessing and treating head injuries in youth.
Graduates of this track will be prepared to meet the pressing need for timely, evidence informed, comprehensive assessment and treatment of this growing population.
For further details about this track, contact Talin Babikian, PhD, ABPP by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.