Neurobehavioral disorders

Handb Clin Neurol. 2013:110:377-88. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-52901-5.00032-0.


Neurobehavioral disorders are composed of a large group of behavioral impairments seen in association with brain disease (e.g., stroke, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and neuro-oncological conditions), transient as well as permanent brain impairments (e.g., metabolic and toxic encephalopathies), and/or injury (e.g., trauma, hypoxia, and/or ischemia). The neurorehabilitative assessment and management of such disorders is often poorly addressed in the context of overall neurological, psychiatric, and rehabilitative care. Too often, more basic, yet critical, aspects of behavioral assessment and treatment are not addressed or only superficially addressed by evaluating clinicians. Physicians often overly rely on pharmacological interventions as initial and/or sole treatment approaches rather than taking a pragmatic biopsychosocial approach that focuses on holistic disease state management. This chapter provides readers with an overview of the common behavioral impairments associated with brain dysfunction due to disease, injury, or toxicity. Details regarding the nature of impairments such as localization-related syndromes, affective disorders and personality disorders, among others are expounded. Principles of neurobehavioral assessment and treatment are examined including general guidelines for eliciting a history and physical, behavioral analysis, and functional behavioral assessment. General treatment caveats are provided including discussion of impairment and disability adaptation, and creation of positive behavioral supports. The topic of pharmacological management of neurobehavioral disorders is covered in numerous other references including Chapter 33 of this text.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Behavioral Symptoms / etiology*
  • Behavioral Symptoms / therapy
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Injuries / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / therapy
  • Humans
  • Personality Disorders