The Impact of Frontal Lobe Injuries

Because of the size and location of the frontal lobe, this is the most common area to be injured. A traumatic injury to this part of our brain can affect problem solving, short term memory loss, motivation, judgment, impulsivity, behavior, perception, attention span difficulties, rationality, apathy, inhibition (possibly social or sexually inappropriate behavior), strategizing problems, and decision making.

A very common deficit of frontal lobe injury is perseveration which is non-compliance with rules. There may also be difficulty in interpreting cues to guide behavior. This can have a serious affect on interpersonal relationships; especially if perseveration is not acknowledged by the survivor.

A brain injured survivor is considered to be in denial when deficits are unacknowledged. Denial hinders rehabilitation and recovery. It also has a detrimental affect on relationships.

Personality changes can generally be significant with this type of injury. The changes will be dependent upon the survivor’s deficits and upon his/her acceptance of the injury and willingness to work towards a new life through adaptations and adjustments.

Studies have found that some survivors with frontal lobe injuries have difficulty understanding some types of humor; many prefer the slapstick variety. In some cases however, the personality may become flat with no sense of humor and little facial expression.

Abstract thinking can also sometimes be affected. The ability to understand others allows us to feel empathy, sympathy, and to realize when others are being sarcastic or deceptive. Other areas of the brain can sometimes adapt to be able to take over the functions of the damaged area; this is more likely if the injured person is young. Additionally some sufferers of a frontal lobe injury may have problems consistently performing a task which may make job performance difficult.

Intensive therapy following this type of injury, according to some studies, is important towards achieving successful rehabilitation. Sadly, in many communities there are few resources available for brain injured survivors. In some cases unfortunately, the injured person is reluctant to participate in programs that would assist him/her in recovery.

Frontal lobe injuries change the brain injured survivor’s life; in most cases forever. This will be more evident in some people than in others because no two brain injuries are the same.