Neuropsychology

The general clinical orientation of our group is one of hypothesis testing. We employ a wide range of tests and experimental or bedside methods to address specific referral questions or problems. Trainees benefit from testing and interview experience with a large and diverse sample of patients. Our development of published, brief, and repeatable tests has worked well with an emphasis on cost effective care.

Multiple Sclerosis Clinic: Dr. Benedict has served on multiple national and international panels for assessing and treating cognitive and psychiatric aspects of MS. He has made numerous presentations for the National MS Society, Consortium of MS Centers, and internet webcast forums. At the Jacobs Neurological Institute (JNI) our focus is to provide routine NP assessments that are brief and less costly than traditional NP testing services. In addition, our group provides psychological and neuropsychological counseling services for MS patients.

NHL/NFL Neuropsychological Testing Programs: The UB Neuropsychology group has expertise in TBI and concussion management. We have developed two tests that are commonly used by testing programs established for the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Football League (NFL). The Hopkins Verbal Learning Test - Revised (HVLT-R) is used to assess verbal learning and memory. The Brief Visuospatial Memory Test - Revised (BVMT-R) is used to assess visual learning and memory. Dr. Benedict serves as neuropsychology consultant for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. In each program, players undergo baseline testing during their first year. Exams are then used to assess the effects of concussions and to assist in making return-to-play decisions.

Dementia and Memory Disorders Clinic: This new clinic is involved with comprehensive neurological evaluation, neuropsychological testing, and functional and structural brain imaging. The goals are to effectively diagnose and treat senile-onset neuropsychiatric disorders and to follow patients with counseling and repeat evaluations to guide medical management.

Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center: is one of only 5 centers of excellence treating children with demyelinating disorders in N. America. Dr. Parrish serves as the primary neuropsychologist. Similar to the adult MS clinic, we provide routine NP assessments that are brief but efficient in determining areas of cognitive impairment and providing treatment recommendations.

Pediatric Neuropsychology Outpatient Clinic: Dr. Parrish supervises the pediatric neuropsychology clinic, which provides assessment for a variety of pediatric patients (ages 3-18). Patients are typically referred by neurologists and local pediatricians, and include patients with epilepsy, head injury, autism spectrum disorders, and a variety of other medical and psychiatric conditions. Dr. Parrish also is the primary neuropsychologist for the epilepsy surgical team and participates in team conferences.

Current Research

  • Correlation between gray matter deterioration and cognitive or personality changes in MS patients
  • Development of new screening and monitoring tests for cognitive changes in MS patients
  • Relationship between brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neuropsychological defects in MS
  • Treatment of processing speed and attention deficit in MS patients using medication
  • Exercise and cognitive dysfunction in MS and healthy aging
  • Cognitive functioning in pediatric MS and other demyelinating disorders in children
  • Development of norms for adult and pediatric neuropsychological batteries
  • Evaluation of medication effects in pediatric epilepsy patients

Clinical Training and Employment

Hours are flexible and may be negotiated. Our environment is rich in educational/didactic experiences within the Jacobs Neurological Institute and the UB Department of Neurology.

Please send letters of interest or other inquiries to:

Dr. Ralph Benedict
Neurology
Suite D-6, Buffalo General Hospital
100 High Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 859-3484
E-mail is preferred: benedict@buffalo.edu

UB Undergraduate Students

Students receive independent study credit and participate in cognitive neuroscience research. A year-long commitment required; paid summer work may be available.

UB Graduate Students

We accept students from neuroscience, psychology or counseling psychology, seeking either a MA or PhD degree. Practicum placements are available, for students seeking clinical and assessment experience. Students are trained to administer a wide range of psychological and neuropsychological tests (eg intelligence, memory, executive, personality) with a diverse patient population including medical (e.g., HIV, renal disease), neurological (eg, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain injury), and psychiatric (eg, personality disorder, schizophrenia) disorders. Students are encouraged to assist in and develop research initiatives that can be used to foster career development or meet requirements for their degree. Pediatric and adult placements are available.

Research Assistant

Duties include data management, statistical analysis, psychometric testing, and study coordination. Part or full time, salary depends on experience.

Post-doctoral Fellowship

Fellowships are available for either physician or psychology graduates seeking additional research training in the area of neuropsychology and MS. Dr. Benedict's CV lists publications which show the range of recent research activities.