Neuropsychiatry/Behavioral Neurology

The Neuropsychiatry / Behavioral Neurology Program

Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Neurology are disciplines among the clinical neurosciences that focus on the clinical and pathological aspects of neural processes associated with cognition, emotion, and behavior. Recent advances in structural and functional brain imaging, clinical electrophysiology, and experimental psychology fostered unprecedented growth in the clinical neurosciences, and have enlightened our understanding of both normal and disturbed cognition, emotion, and behavior.

These technologies and the findings from them complement the clinical interview and examination and extend the core knowledge base and clinical skills that define modern neuropsychiatry and behavioral neurology. A principal goal of this integrative approach is to transcend the mind-brain duality reflected in the separation of psychiatry and neurology.

The Neuropsychiatry / Behavioral Neurology Program consists of the Cognitive Neuropsychiatry Clinics, Consultative Neuropsychiatry/Behavioral Neurology Service, Inpatient Neuropsychiatry/Behavioral Neurology Service, and Electroconvulsive Therapy Service

Cognitive Neuropsychiatry Clinic

Michael J. Schrift, DO; Eric Gausche, MD

For appointments, please call: Veronica Lopez (312) 996-6139 or Dorothy Gawel (312) 996-3881.

Drs. Schrift and Gausche are physicians who specialize in the evaluation and treatment of the various psychiatric, cognitive, memory, and behavioral problems that can occur following or as part of neurologic and medical diseases. As neuropsychiatrists and behavioral neurologists, they have many years of clinical experience treating the cognitive (intellectual), mood, behavioral problems, and psychosis (hallucinations and false beliefs) that can result from such illnesses as epilepsy, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, lupus, hydrocephalus, traumatic brain injury, dementia (like Alzheimer disease), stroke, Parkinson disease, autism, and mental retardation. Common cognitive problems from brain disorders include memory impairment, inattentiveness, distractibility, difficulty in problem solving, and loss of self-monitoring skills. Mood and behavior difficulties are also frequently part of brain disorders resulting in depression, irritability, anger, impulsivity, inappropriate behavior, or apathy. We also specialize in neurological disorders (non epileptic seizure, conversion paralysis and conversion movement disorders) that have no have no apparent medical explanation We utilize various diagnostic tools in the evaluation of patients including brain imaging with MRI, fMRI, MR spectroscopy, CT, SPECT and PET; clinical laboratory services for hematological, chemical, serological, endocrinological, cytogenetic, pathological, and immunological studies; clinical neurophysiology laboratory studies including electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), evoked potentials (EP), and polysomnography (sleep studies). Dr. Neil Pliskin (312-996-6217) and his colleagues in the Neurobehavior Program provides neuropsychological assessments to assist in the diagnostic evaluation, ability assessment and educational planning. The treatment plan takes into account the complexity of the neurological, medical, psychological and social factors involved in the illness.

Given the breadth of the clinical problems encountered by behavioral neurologists and neuropsychiatrists, expertise in pharmacological, behavioral, psychosocial, and environmental interventions is required to address comprehensively the needs of patients with these conditions and their families.

Consultative Neuropsychiatry/Behavioral Neurology Service

The Consultative Neuropsychiatry/Behavioral Neurology Service provide evaluation and treatment recommendations to neurologists, neurosurgeons, internists, pediatricians, child psychiatry, and general psychiatry for patients with cognitive and behavioral complications of neurological and medical diseases. Requests for consultation can be made by physicians through Gemini or by contacting Veronica Lopez at 312-996-6139.

Inpatient Neuropsychiatry/Behavioral Neurology Service

This service is for patients who have severe neurobehavioral disorders that require management in the hospital. Drs. Schrift, Baslet, and Gausche lead the treatment team consisting of nurses, nursing assistants, occupational therapists, and social workers with experience caring for patients with complex neurobehavioral problems. Consultation with neurology, neurosurgery, neurobehavior is frequently part of the treatment plan.

Electroconvulsive Therapy Service

The Electroconvulsive Therapy Service specializes in administering ECT to those patients for whom such treatment is indicated (such as patients with severe mood disorders). The program strives to standardize the methods of ECT application while promoting the highest level of proficiency of this treatment. The program is invested in promoting in-depth research into ECT's clinical effectiveness and technique.

Referring psychiatrists from UIC and the community as well as physician attending psychiatrists on the Adult In-Patient Psychiatry unit typically refer patients to the ECT service. This method of consultation assures expert input into the decision about this form of treatment. Patients undergoing ECT treatment will receive a complete medical evaluation, including anesthesia consultations. Psychiatrists and anesthesiologists supervise the administration of ECT. Both inpatients and outpatients can receive ECT treatments. Following the completion of a course of ECT treatment, staff remains involved in the long-term planning of psychiatric follow-up care.

Memory and Aging Clinic



For ECT inpatient evaluations please contact Drs. Marvin or Schrift. For outpatient evaluations please contact Veronica Lopez at 312-996-6139. A clinical summary of the patient's course of illness, along with a record of therapies tried as well as past medical records, is extremely helpful for the evaluation.

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