Behavioral Neurology & Neuropsychiatry Certification Requirements

List of topics from the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS), from their Behavioral Neurology & Neuropsychiatry Content Outline for the certification requirements, found at:

Accessed July 13, 2021. Please see UCNS website for most up-to-date information

  • A. Brain Organization

    1. Cerebral cortex and its parts
    2. Limbic and paralimbic structures
    3. Basal ganglia
    4. Diencephalon
    5. Brainstem
    6. Cerebellum
    7. White matter
    8. Cortico-cortical and cortical-subcortical circuits and networks
    9. Regional cerebral specialization
    10. Neurochemistry – neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, neurohormones
    11. Cerebrovascular and ventricular systems

    B. Cognition, Emotion, and Behavior

    1. Cognition (e.g., arousal, perception, attention, recognition, memory, language, praxis, visuospatial function, executive function)

    2. Emotion (e.g., mood, affect, affective prosody)

    3. Behavior (e.g., sleep, motivation, comportment, personality)

    1. Neurological Examination
      1. Elemental neurological function 2. Neurological “soft-signs”
      3. Standardized rating scales

    2. Mental Status Examination
      1. General assessment of cognition, emotion, and behavior
      2. Cognitive examination, including quantified clinical assessments
      3. Standardized assessments of neuropsychiatric symptoms and syndromes

      4. Clinical interpretation of mental status examination findings

    3. Neuropsychological Assessment
      1. Indications for neuropsychological testing in evaluation and treatment planning

      2. Content, sensitivity, and specificity of neuropsychological testing
      quantified clinical assessments

      3. Factors that influence test performance
      4. Relationship between neuropsychological tests and bedside or office-based quantified clinical assessments
      5. Clinical interpretation of neuropsychological test results

    4. Neuroimaging
      1. Principles and applications of structural and functional imaging
      2. Correlation between neuroimaging and clinical examination
      3. Neuroimaging biomarkers of neurobehavioral and neuropsychiatric conditions,
      including neurodegeneration and neurotrauma

    5. Electrophysiologic Testing
      1. Principles and applications of electrophysiologic recordings
      2. Correlation between electrophysiologic findings and clinical examination
      3. Electrophysiologic biomarkers of neurobehavioral and neuropsychiatric conditions,
      including neurodegeneration and neurotrauma

    6. Laboratory Studies
      1. Indications for serum and urine studies
      2. Indications for and interpretation of results from CSF examinations 3. Neurogenetics of neurobehavioral and neuropsychiatric conditions
      4. Neuropathology of neurobehavioral and neuropsychiatric conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases, cerebrovascular disorders, and neurotrauma

  • Somatic Therapies
    1. Neuropharmacologic agents
    2. Adverse effects of neuropharmacologic agents and drug-drug interactions
    3. Non-invasive neuromodulation, including electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial
    magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation
    4. Neurosurgical interventions, including deep brain stimulation, vagal nerve
    stimulation, and lesional procedures
    5. Psychosocial Interventions
    6. Supportive therapy
    7. Cognitive-behavioral therapy
    8. Cognitive rehabilitation
    9. Family and systems therapy
    10. Environmental interventions
    11. Behavioral management strategies