Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test

The Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test (KAIT) is an individually administered general intelligence test appropriate for adolescents and adults, aged 11 to over 85 years.

Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children

The Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (KABC) is a standardized test that assesses intelligence and achievement in children aged two years, six months to 12 years, six months. The edition published in 1983 by Kaufman and Kaufman was in the process of being revised in 2002 to expand its age range (to cover children ages three to eighteen) and enhance its usefulness.

Kaufman Short Neurological Assessment Procedure

The Kaufman Short Neurological Procedure, often abbreviated as K-SNAP, is a brief test of mental functioning appropriate for adolescents and adults between the ages of 11 and 85 years. It is administered on an individual basis, and measures mental functioning at varying levels of cognitive complexity as well as addressing possible neurological damage.

Kava kava

Kava kava is a dioecious (having male and female reproductive parts of the plant on different individuals) shrub native to the Pacific islands. Its botanical name is Piper methysticum; it is a member of the Piperaceae, or pepper, family.


Kleptomania is an impulse control disorder characterized by a recurrent failure to resist stealing.


Lamotrigine is an anticonvulsant drug commonly used to prevent seizures. It is also used as a mood stabilizer in some people with bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder.


Lavender is the shrub-like aromatic plant, Lavandula officinalis, sometimes called Lavandula vera or true lavender.

Learning disorders

Learning disorders, or learning disabilities, are disorders that cause problems in speaking, listening, reading, writing, or mathematical ability.

Light therapy

Light therapy refers to two different categories of treatment, one used in mainstream medical practice and the other in alternative/complementary medicine. Mainstream light therapy (also called phototherapy) includes the use of ultraviolet light to treat psoriasis and other skin disorders, and the use of full-spectrum or bright light to treat seasonal affective disorder(SAD).

Lithium carbonate

Lithium is a naturally occurring element that is classified as an anti-manic drug. It is available in the United States under the brand names Eskalith, Lithonate, Lithane, Lithotabs, and Lithobid.


Lorazepam, a mild tranquilizer in the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines is a sold in the United States under brand names Alzapam, Ativan, or Loraz. It is also available generically.


Loxapine is a prescription-only drug used to treat serious mental, nervous, and emotional disorders. Loxapine is sold under the brand name Loxitane in the United States.

Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery

The Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery, also known as LNNB or Luria-Nebraska Battery, is a standardized test battery used in the screening and evaluation of neuropsychologically impaired individuals.

Magnetic resonance imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the newest diagnostic medical imaging technologies that uses strong magnets and pulses of radio waves to manipulate the natural magnetic properties in the body to generate a visible image. In the field of mental health, an MRI scan may be used when a patient seeks medical help for symptoms that could possibly be caused by a brain tumor.

Major depressive disorder

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a condition characterized by a long-lasting depressed mood or marked loss of interest or pleasure (anhedonia) in all or nearly all activities. Children and adolescents with MDD may be irritable instead of sad.

Male orgasmic disorder

Male orgasmic disorder may be defined as a persistent or recurrent inability to achieve orgasm despite lengthy sexual contact or while participating in sexual intercourse.


The central theme to all definitions of malingering is that the term applies to persons who deliberately pretend to have an illness or disability in order to receive financial or other gain, or to avoid punishment or responsibility.

Managed care

Managed care is a generic term for various health care payment systems that attempt to contain costs by controlling the type and level of services provided. Health maintenance organization (HMO) is a term that is often used synonymously with managed care, but HMOs are actually a particular type of managed care organization.

Manic episode

A discrete period lasting a week or more during which a person experiences mania, an abnormally elevated, cheerful, or euphoric mood.


Maprotiline is an oral antidepressant. It is a member of the tetracyclic antidepressant family of compounds.

Marital and family therapists

A marriage and family therapist is a person who has received advanced, specialized training and has practiced therapy for an extended period, typically a minimum of 3,000 hours, under the close supervision of a competent, licensed professional. A marital and family counselor must be licensed by passing both written and oral examinations as well as completing continuing education requirements.

Mathematics disorder

Mathematics disorder, formerly called developmental arithmetic disorder, developmental acalculia, or dyscalculia, is a learning disorder in which a person's mathematical ability is substantially below the level normally expected based on his or her age, intelligence, life experiences, educational background, and physical impairments. This disability affects the ability to do calculations as well as the ability to understand word problems and mathematical concepts.

Medication-induced movement disorders

Medication-induced movement disorder occurs due to treatment with antipsychotic medications. Most medication-induced movement disorders are caused by medications that block the action of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that allows communication between two neurons to take place and that is necessary for coordination of movements of different parts of the body.


Meditation or contemplation involves focusing the mind upon a sound, phrase, prayer, object, visualized image, the breath, ritualized movements, or consciousness in order to increase awareness of the present moment, promote relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance personal or spiritual growth.

Mental retardation

Mental retardation (MR) is a developmental disability that first appears in children under the age of 18. It is defined as a level of intellectual functioning (as measured by standard intelligence tests) that is well below average and results in significant limitations in the person's daily living skills (adaptive functioning).


Mesoridazine is a member of the phenothiazine family of drugs (drugs that reduce the action of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, in the brain) and sold under the brand name Serentil in the United States.


Methadone is classified as an opioid (an analgesic that is used for severe pain). In the United States, methadone is also known as dolophine, methenex and methadose.


Methylphenidate is a mild, central nervous system stimulant. In the United States, the drug is sold under the brand name Ritalin.

Mini-mental state examination

The mini-mental state examination, which is also known as the MMSE, standardized MMSE, SMMSE, or the Folstein, is a brief examination consisting of eleven questions intended to evaluate an adult patient's level of cognitive functioning. It was introduced in 1975 and designed for use with elderly patients who are able to cooperate at an optimum level with an examiner for only a brief period of time—no more than a few minutes.

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory

The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, known as the MMPI, and its revised second edition (MMPI-2) are psychological assessment instruments completed by the person being evaluated, and scored and interpreted by the examiner. The clinician evaluates the test taker's personal characteristics by comparing the test taker's answers to those given by various psychiatric and nonpsychiatric comparison groups.


Mirtazapine is most commonly used to treat depression. Mirtazapine is available in the United States under the trade names of Remeron and Remeron SolTab.

Mixed episode

A mixed episode is a discrete period during which a person experiences nearly daily fluctuations in mood that qualify for diagnoses of manic episode and major depressive episode. Over the course of at least one week, the mood of a person experiencing a mixed episode will rapidly change between abnormal happiness or euphoria and sadness or irritability.

Mixed receptive-expressive language disorder

Mixed receptive-expressive language disorder is diagnosed when a child has problems expressing him-or herself using spoken language, and also has problems understanding what people say to him or her.


Modeling, which is also called observational learning or imitation, is a behaviorally based procedure that involves the use of live or symbolic models to demonstrate a particular behavior, thought, or attitude that a client may want to acquire or change. Modeling is sometimes called vicarious learning, because the client need not actually perform the behavior in order to learn it.


Molindone is an antipsychotic. It is sold in the United States under the trade name of Moban.

Movement disorders

Movement disorders describe a variety of abnormal movements of the body that have a neurological basis. These abnormal movements are characterized by changes in the coordination and speed of voluntary movement.

Multisystemic therapy

Multisystemic therapy (MST) is an intensive family- and community-based treatment program designed to make positive changes in the various social systems (home, school, community, peer relations) that contribute to the serious antisocial behaviors of children and adolescents who are at risk for out-of-home placement. These out-of-home placements might include foster care, group homes, residential care, correctional facilities, or hospitalization.


Naltrexone is classified as a pure opiate antagonist. It is sold in the United States under the brand names ReVia and Depade, but is also manufactured and sold under its generic name.

Narcissistic personality disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is defined by the Fourth Edition Text Revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR, a handbook that mental health professionals use to diagnose mental disorders) as one of ten personality disorders. As a group, these disorders are described by DSM-IV-TRas "enduring pattern[s] of inner experience and behavior" that are sufficiently rigid and deep-seated to bring a person into repeated conflicts with his or her social and occupational environment.


Narcolepsy is a disorder marked by excessive daytime sleepiness, uncontrollable sleep attacks, and cataplexy (a sudden loss of muscle tone, usually lasting up to half an hour).


Nefazodone is a prescription antidepressant. Nefazodone is available in the United States under the trade name of Serzone.

Negative symptoms

Negative symptoms are thoughts, feelings, or behaviors normally present that are absent or diminished in a person with a mental disorder.


Neglect occurs when a parent or other primary caretaker chooses not to fulfill their obligations to care for, provide for, or adequately supervise and monitor the activities of their child. Parental and caregiving obligations include the physical, emotional, and educational well-being of the child.

Neuropsychological testing

Clinical neuropsychology is a field with historical origins in both psychology and neurology. The primary activity of neuropsychologists is assessment of brain functioning through structured and systematic behavioral observation.


Neurosis is a term generally used to describe a nonpsychotic mental illness which triggers feelings of distress and anxiety and impairs functioning.


Neurotransmitters are chemicals located and released in the brain to allow an impulse from one nerve cell to pass to another nerve cell.

Nicotine and related disorders

Nicotine disorders are caused by the main psychoactive ingredient in tobacco. Nicotine is a physically and psychologically addictive drug.

Nightmare disorder

Nightmare disorder, which is also called dream anxiety disorder, is characterized by the occurrence of repeated dreams during which the sleeper feels threatened and frightened. The sense of fear causes the person to awake.


Nortriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant. It is sold in the United States under the brand names Aventyl and Pamelor, and is also available under its generic name.

Nutrition and mental health

A person's food intake affects mood, behavior, and brain function. A hungry person may feel irritable and restless, whereas a person who has just eaten a meal may feel calm and satisfied.

Nutrition counseling

Nutrition counseling is an ongoing process in which a health professional, usually a registered dietitian, works with an individual to assess his or her usual dietary intake and identify areas where change is needed. The nutrition counselor provides information, educational materials, support, and follow-up to help the individual make and maintain the needed dietary changes.