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Understanding Disorders of Brain Development
Episode 1729th May 2024 • Brain Beat • National Academy of Neuropsychology Foundation
00:00:00 00:20:05

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Pete Stavinoha welcomes everyone back to the National Academy of Neuropsychology Foundation’s Brain Beat podcast today for yet another discussion on brain health and brain function. This time around, he is joined by Dr. Stephen Hooper, the internationally recognized leader in the field of child neuropsychology who, among his many accomplishments, is the Associate Dean of Medicine, Chairperson of the Department of Health Sciences, tenured Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, and Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Together, they explore the intricate world of brain development disorders as our guest shares details from his recent book, Basics of Child Neuropsychology

Infusing it with his extensive knowledge on neurodevelopmental disorders and the genetic and environmental factors that influence brain development, Dr. Hooper notes that he has actually tailored his book for educators and clinicians who want to understand the complexities of brain function without diving too deep into technical jargon. In this discussion with Pete, he touches on the evolution of neuropsychology, foundational brain development, and neurodiagnostic procedures. Focusing on specific genetic disorders like Down syndrome and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, Dr. Hooper also explains their manifestations and the importance of evidence-based interventions. Today's fascinating and informative episode finds our experts meeting at the intersection of neuropsychology, pediatrics, and child psychiatry, as they provide a comprehensive overview of how genetic and environmental factors shape brain development while highlighting the ongoing need for effective treatments.

Episode Highlights:

  • Dr. Steven Hooper and his extensive background in child neuropsychology

  • The structure and themes of Basics of Child Neuropsychology

  • Foundational neuropsychology and neurodiagnostic procedures

  • Brain development stages and the impact of genetic factors

  • Genetic disorders such as Down syndrome and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and their neurocognitive, academic, and psychiatric manifestations

  • Evidence-based treatment options and the need for more research in this area

Key Takeaways:

“I cobbled together things to make it work for that audience so that I can sort of nurture their excitement and interest in this area, as well as not intimidate them with some of the lexicon and the things that we get into with the brain.”

"The brain is really critical at almost everything that we do."

"Genetics truly sort of lay out the blueprint of what things could look like."

"You have this wide constellation of the way things should be, and then the way things evolve when that genetic blueprint is disrupted."

"We have the formation of the neural tube in that first month of life, and it's very, very critical."

"This is a population of kids where there's a high rate of psychiatric illness with a rate of...25% to 30%, having some form of schizophrenia spectrum disorder by the time they're in their late teens to early twenties." 


National Academy of Neuropsychology Foundation website

Basics of Child Neuropsychology





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