Saturday, 25 May, 2024

Cognitive Impairments After Brain Injury


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Traumatic brain injuries and cerebrovascular accidents frequently produce lasting cognitive deficits that undermine productive and fulfilling lives. While physical disabilities like hemiparesis after stroke may gradually abate with rehabilitation, cognitive dysfunctions persist as some of the most recalcitrant and disabling sequelae. 

 

The cognitive domains most commonly and persistently affected after brain injury include:

 

  • Attention: reduced ability to focus and concentrate on tasks 

 

  • Memory: impaired retention and recall of information You need to remember appointments, conversations, and directions.

 

  • Executive functions: difficulty planning, organising, and starting or stopping activities. Struggle multitasking.

 

  • Information processing speed: taking extended time to understand instructions and conversations Reduced efficiency.

 

  • Mental fatigue: thinking and problem-solving feel abnormally effortful and tiring. Frequently needing rest.

 

The prevalence rates for these cognitive impairments are soberingly high. Even after a mild traumatic brain injury or concussion, over 50% of patients exhibit deficits on neuropsychological testing that can endure for months or years. Attention, memory, executive dysfunction, and increased mental fatigability are most common, 

 

After a moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury, rates logically increase further. Persisting cognitive deficits at one year post-injury, depending on severity, Individuals with frontal lobe lesions often have the worst executive function impairments. 

 

Similarly, after strokes, a significant number have lasting attentional impairments; memory, language, fatigue, and visuospatial impairments are affected. They can also experience dramatically increased mental fatigue, interfering with cognitive performance.

 

These cognitive dysfunctions often cluster together. For example, impairments in attention and processing speed degrade memory encoding. Executive dysfunction makes it hard to use memory strategies. Fatigue further strains inefficient thinking, as tasks require abnormally high mental effort.

 

The downstream impacts on quality of life and functioning are often devastating. Simple conversations, reading, and household chores become challenging. Returning to work and school is improbable. Social isolation increases when cognitively demanding interpersonal situations are avoided. Motivation for rehabilitation suffers. Carer burnout rises. Financial instability grows without steady employment.

 

Motor and sensory disabilities are the most noticeable right after a neurological event. However, cognitive impairments become some of the worst and most crippling effects in the post-acute and chronic phases. They strain relationships, undermine vocational goals, and compound anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, many patients now survive the initial insult thanks to advanced medicine, only to struggle with these lasting cognitive dysfunctions. New therapeutic approaches are desperately needed.

 

 

Dr. Terry McIvor is the founder of the International  Guild of Hypnotherapy,NLP and 3 Principles Practitioners and Trainers. (IGH3P)

IGH3P  is a professional development body which develops the skills of coaches, Hypnotherapist and NLPers.

He is an educationalist of over 20 years experience and has been accredited as a STEM and Science expert at level 6 and 7 by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL) in the U.K.

Dr. Terry is also an NLP trainer, Master Hypnotist, a qualified Hypnotherapist  and 3 Principles Coach.

He is trainer for most of the leading hypnosis professional bodies in the U.S including IACT, ICBCH,IMDHA, and the Elman Institute,

Dr. Terry has set up his own accredited STEM school in the U.K. called AISR, it is through his academy he conducts his teaching and research.

Dr. Terry has entered into the realm of Metaphysical Philosophy. and is currently adapting metaphysical ideas of consciousness to train metaphysical( Quantum) coaches of the future.

Learn more at www.IGH3P.com. You can email him at registrar@igh3p.com

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