Clinical Neuropsychologist in Dallas
People who seek medical care for concerns about their cognitive function – such as memory, attention, and thinking – are often referred for a neuropsychological evaluation.
UT Southwestern Medical Center clinical neuropsychologist C. Munro Cullum, Ph.D., performs and evaluates results from these sophisticated tests, which help clinicians assess and measure brain function in patients with a range of suspected or diagnosed conditions.
These conditions include memory and cognitive disorders, neurodegenerative and developmental disorders, stroke, brain trauma, and neuropsychiatric issues.
“Neuropsychology is the specialty at the intersection of neurology and psychology,” Dr. Cullum explains. “It’s often used to assess people who have concerns about their memory or some other aspect of their cognitive functioning.”
Dr. Cullum notes that neuropsychology is very different from what most people envision when they think of seeing a psychologist. Patients aren’t lying on a couch, talking about their problems. Much of the work that Dr. Cullum and his team does is aimed at helping referring physicians make a diagnosis and formulate treatment plans.
“We use neuropsychological evaluations to determine if a cognitive deficit is present and, if so, to help the referring physicians determine its likely cause and choose the most appropriate treatment,” he says.
The pattern of test results allows a neuropsychologist to determine an individual’s cognitive strengths as well as weaknesses. These profiles are examined with respect to how well they “fit” various disorders; test results are compared with large normative databases derived from similar individuals without cognitive disorders.
“The individualized tests we perform can help us determine, for example, if a 90-year-old patient with memory impairment has an issue with attention or memory, is suffering from depression or the effects of stroke or surgery, or is in the early stages of dementia. As a result, these evaluations are often helpful in detecting an impairment and assessing cognitive changes over time,” he says.
Dr. Cullum and his team collaborate closely with neurologists, psychiatrists, neurosurgeons, physiatrists, neuroimaging specialists, and other UT Southwestern colleagues to diagnose and identify patients with cognitive disorders.
“We strive to deliver friendly, comprehensive clinical care to each of our patients,” he says. “We give them feedback about our diagnostic impressions, explain their cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and provide them with information that will help with their adaptive functioning and understanding the nature of their problems.”
Dr. Cullum was UT Southwestern’s first board-certified neuropsychologist when he joined the faculty in 1994 as Director of Neuropsychology. He is active in medical training and research and has worked with the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Stars for nearly 20 years in the NFL and NHL concussion programs.