Clinical neuroscience is a branch of neuroscience that focuses on the scientific study of fundamental mechanisms that underlie diseases and disorders of the brain and central nervous system. It seeks to develop new ways of diagnosing such disorders and ultimately of developing novel treatments. A clinical neuroscientist is a scientist who has specialized knowledge in the field. Not all clinicians are clinical neuroscientists.
Clinicians-including psychiatrists, neurologists, clinical psychologists, and other medical specialists-use basic research findings from neuroscience in general and clinical neuroscience in particular to develop diagnostic methods and ways to prevent and treat neurological disorders. Such disorders include addiction, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, anxiety disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, bipolar disorder, brain tumors, depression, Down syndrome, dyslexia, epilepsy, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, neurological AIDS, neurological trauma, pain, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, sleep disorders, stroke and Tourette syndrome.
While neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry are the main medical specialties that use neuroscientific information, other medical specialties such as neuroradiology, neuropathology, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, and anesthesiology and rehabilitation medicine can contribute to the discipline. Integration of the neuroscience perspective alongside other traditions like psychotherapy, social psychiatry or social psychology will become increasingly important.