Clinical-psychological dimensions include, for example, the affective-emotional or affective-motivational status of a person. Brain damage can often cause emotional dysregulation, which manifests itself in anxiety or depressive symptoms.
In particular, the recording of depressive symptoms is indispensable for the accurate assessment of a potential disorder, as they negatively influence cognitive functions in a way that could also erroneously point to attention or memory disorders. Affective-motivational impairments are understood to be drive disorders, anxiety or even subclinical and manifest depressive disorders.
Why clinical-psychological dimensions is an important criterion for neuropsychology?
Measuring clinical/psychological dimensions plays an important role in a clinical setting. For example, assessment of the patient’s affective/emotional state after a brain injury can be crucial to rehabilitation. On the one hand, brain injuries can be an organic cause of emotional dysregulation; on the other, anxieties and in particular depressive symptoms can develop as a reaction to organically caused impairments and handicaps.
It is also important to consider the close connection between affective/emotional state and cognitive performance. The assessment of depressive symptoms is particularly important for neuropsychological assessment since such symptoms can have a marked adverse effect on cognitive functions and can give the appearance of organic brain function disorders, especially in the areas of attention and memory. Frequently observable affective/motivational impairments are disorders of motivation (apathy, hypobulia), anxiety, irritability, aggression, euphoric and sub-euphoric moods and sub-clinical and manifest depressive disorders.
Questionnaires and estimation scales are primarily used to measure clinical not immediately conspicuous disorders or to monitor known impairments of affectivity. Meaningful use of these tests in neuropsychological assessment therefore presupposes detailed knowledge of the symptoms of underlying organic ailments that may be present.
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