Secondary Factors in Neuropsychological Functioning 

Part 1 | Wednesday, August 16 | 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern Time | 1 CE Credit
Part 2 | Wednesday, August 23
 | 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern Time | 1 CE Credit 


Presented by: 
Peter Andrew Arnett, Ph.D.

Psychology Professor
Director of the Neuropsychology of Sports Concussion and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Programs
Penn State University


Secondary factors – depression, anxiety, fatigue, sleep, and pain, among others – are very common in many neurological conditions. These factors generally intersect with neurocognitive functioning, often in a negative way. However, many secondary factors are treatable and represent a potentially reversible cause of cognitive impairment. Additionally, even when treatment does not reverse cognitive impairment, it can significantly improve patient quality of life.  

The first part of this two-part webinar series will explore secondary factors and how they are related to neuropsychological functioning more generally. The second part will consider the prevalence and clinical relevance of these secondary factors in the context of specific neurological conditions including sport-related concussion, multiple sclerosis (MS), and mild cognitive impairment (MCI)/dementias. Participants will learn how to assess and consider these factors clinically, and how to incorporate this knowledge into routine neuropsychological assessments to improve patient care.  

After the webinar, participants will be able to:
1. Describe common secondary factors and how they intersect with neurocognitive functioning.
2. Discuss methods for identifying secondary factors in clinical practice. 
3. Explain the complexities of how secondary factors manifest in particular neurological conditions including sport-related concussion, multiple sclerosis (MS), and mild cognitive impairment (MCI)/dementias.  
4. Discuss ways in which careful assessment and understanding of secondary factors can improve clinical care, particularly as it relates to individualized care.  

Target Audience: Clinical neuropsychologists and trainees, as well as other healthcare professionals who wish to learn more about how to measure and consider secondary factors in clinical practice to improve patient care.  
Instructional Level: Intermediate 

Dr. Peter Arnett received his Ph.D. in Psychology (Clinical) from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He is currently a tenured Psychology Professor and Director of the Neuropsychology of Sports Concussion and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Programs at Penn State University where he has been for the past 23 years. He also completed a six-year term as the Director of Clinical Training of the doctoral program in clinical psychology at Penn State. During that time, he wrote the APA accreditation report covering the seven-year period from 2007 to 2014, as well as the program’s first Psychological Clinical Science System (PCSAS) accreditation, which was approved and became official in 2017.  The Penn State clinical program is now one of less than 50 (out of over 300 nationwide) that has PCSAS accreditation.  Dr. Arnett is a licensed psychologist and clinical neuropsychologist, and has also either supervised or seen himself hundreds of cases of individuals who have suffered from mTBI/concussion, MS, epilepsy, mild cognitive impairment (MCI)/dementia, and toxic exposure, among others. 
Dr. Arnett’s research has focused on clinical neuropsychology, with an emphasis on studying secondary influences on cognitive functioning in persons with MS and mild traumatic brain injury (concussion).  He is a fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN), was President of NAN for the 2020 year, and previously served on the Board of Directors of the International Neuropsychological Society (INS).  He has authored over 180 research articles and book chapters/commentaries, and has edited two books.  One is entitled, Secondary Influences on Neuropsychological Test Performance (2013), and the other, Neuropsychology of Sports-Related Concussion (2019). Dr. Arnett has also given many national and international talks on concussion/mTBI, MS, secondary influences on cognitive functioning, and other topics relating to clinical neuropsychology. Dr. Arnett is an editorial board member of several journals, and has received grant funding from the National MS Society, NIH, and NIMH. He has served as primary mentor and dissertation chair for 25 doctoral students. Dr. Arnett is currently a host of the Brain Beat podcast sponsored by the NAN Foundation.

Registration for Part 2 is now closed - please look for the OnDemand version in coming weeks.