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TBI Symptoms – Common Cognitive Dysfunction

Posted Jun 15 2009 6:27pm

I’m really enjoying reading Neuropsychological Rehabilitation by George Prigatano, which I recently got from the library. It may sound strange, but I’m into it.

On pp 4-5, under Common Cognitive Dysfunctions and Their Psychosocial Outcomes, the following issues/disorders are listed (in slightly paraphrased form, so I don’t provoke the gods of intellectual property):

Attention/Concentration Disorders:

  • Having trouble sustaining attention
  • Getting fatigued easily
  • Impairment of selective scanning and attention
  • Poor ability to shift attention back and forth — so you “get lost” a lot in group conversations

Problems with Initiation and Planning of Goal-Oriented Activities

  • Abstract attitude impairment: you frequently miss the point of what’s being considered and take information literally, instead of symbolically
  • Problems with taking action impulsively before it’s required, or keeping going after you should stop taking a certain action
  • Slow initiation time
  • Getting confused about where to start with problem-solving, and therefore ending up with problem-solving strategies that aren’t very realistic
  • Trouble ordering/sequencing info
  • Trouble knowing where, when, and/or how to ask for help
  • Difficulty learning from your mistakes — and your successes

Judgment and Perception Problems

  • Misinterpreting the intentions and/or actions of others
  • Getting confused when presented with a bunch of information at the same time
  • Having a tendency to be socially inappropriate when talking to people
  • Being unrealistic when appraising yourself and your strengths and weaknesses after head injury

Learning and Memory Disorders

  • Lousy rote learning
  • Trouble organizing/processing information that you really need to remember — especially when related to work or academic activities
  • Memory deficits that are material-specific (for example, having trouble with non-verbal vs. verbal information, and vice versa)
  • Having memory problems that are below your IQ level

Speed of Information Processing Disorders

  • Reeeeeaaaaallllllyyyyy   ssssslllloooooowwwww  rrrreeeeeeaaaaaccccttttttiiiiiioooooonnnnnnnnn   tttttttiiiiiimmmmmmeeeee (that is, really show reaction time)
  • Talking, writing, and doing mechanical tasks are slowed down

Communication Disorders

  • Trouble remembering words
  • Trouble finding the right words
  • Going off on tangents when talking and thinking
  • Being talkative
  • Using peculiar phrases and words
  • Uninhibited word choice (e.g. four-letter words) in conversation

According to Prigatano and Fordyce, “these disturbances exist in most, if not all, traumatically brain-injured young adults.”

I know they certainly exist with me. And while reading this list is a bit disconcerting, it’s also very comforting to know I’m not alone. And it explains a whole lot.

In the following pages after the list, Prigatano and Fordyce go into brief descriptions of the different types of disorders and talk about how they still have a long way to go before adequate rehab techniques are developed for them. This book is dated 1986, so I am hoping this has changed in the past 23 years, but you never know.

In any case, even if the book is older, it still has valuable information. And if I’m thinking about the timeframes correctly, it was written before the rush to create and market TBI rehab programs picked up steam. So it’s more likely (at least in my estimation) to have unbiased info.

Unsullied, as it were, by its own success.

Or somesuch.

Or maybe it’s my misinterpretation of the actions and/or intentions of others that’s getting me into trouble ;)

Anyway, I’m still reading…  It’s taken me several days to get through 7 pages. I read through them, then back up and re-read… then back up again and re-read… I think I’ve got more of it in my head, now. At least I have it written down ;)

Posted in blogging, brain, Brain Injury, fatigue, head injury, Head Trauma, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, mtbi, Neuropsychological Effects of TBI, neuroscience, Personal Experiences with TBI, tbi, tbi education, TBI Rehab, TBI Symptoms, trauma, traumatic brain injury Tagged: blogging, brain damage, Brain Injury, cognitive-behavioral issues, concussion, education, Employment, Family Issues, George Prigatano, head injury, Head Trauma, life, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Motivation and Inspiration, mtbi, Neurology, Neuropsychological Effects of TBI, Personal Experiences with TBI, recovery, rehabilitation, Social Issues, tbi, tbi education, TBI Physiology, TBI Rehab, TBI Resources, tbi survivor, TBI Symptoms, thoughts, traumatic brain injury, Work issues
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