Frontal-Temporal Lobe Traumatic Brain Injury

(no subject)
Having had my brain injury over 30 years ago, I've pretty much learned to cope with most of its effects. One thing I somehow wasn't aware of, however, was the increased incidence of dementia among TBI patients later in life.

Well, sh!t; to me, the idea that I'm going to lose my mental faculties again makes life a little less worth living. Actually, not knowing for sure if I'm going to be one of the ones who does is pretty disturbing. After all, no one really knows who's safe from the long-term effects of TBI—or, I guess, any other effect of aging.

Does anyone have any encouraging news—such as that there are preventative measures we can take? I prefer to think I'm not doomed, even if I am.

[x-posted to brain_injury]

Dementia in TBI patients?
For some reason, I wasn't aware TBI patients were more likely to develop dementia late in life; apparently there was something in the news recently about football players and others who had repeated brain trauma over the years ending up with dementia symptoms.

I'm currently staying with a woman who is 70 and has signs of dementia—particularly forgetfulness and confusion, which I'll admit I already have (to some extent) at the age of 51. Her husband (who returns Tuesday) chalks it up to a concussion she suffered about 13 years ago at the site of the World Trade Center disaster and from which she apparently didn't lose consciousness. I actually don't know anyone who doesn't sometimes question themselves and forget things—it's repeated, pathological forgetfulness we have to worry about.

The reason I'm posting this here is I'd like to have others weigh in on the matter. Has anyone found their mental capacities have declined over time—since their injury? Are there any activities or even foods/supplements they've found to be helpful in promoting better cognition?

Results of 4 Weeks of Cognitive Remediation - 3/19/2011
After an MRI and recommendation from a neurologist based on both that MRI and neuropsychological evaluation results, I went to 4 once-a-week sessions of cognitive remediation given by Dr. Danov. Dr. Danov is a very qualified doctor and both her and her associate gave me good advice: work slower to make less mistakes, work in an orderly and organized fashion, and to exercise task-shifting more by doing day-to-day things with distractions like the tv and many phone calls and emails coming in to get better and better at both not getting distracted and to shift between answering to necessary distractions and then going back to the original task.

However, they told me that there's really not much they can do for me to improve my task-shifting skills that I cannot do on my own at home with similar software I purchased for myself. They said I'm too high-functioning for the exercises available via cognitive remediation, and that cognitive remediation is geared toward people who are not as high-functioning.

The exercises they have to improve task-shifting skills consist of a grid on a computer screen with numbers from 1 - 18 and/or letters from A - R in either all red or the numbers in blue and letters in red. The exercises entail going back and forth between letters and numbers in ascending or descending order. For example, starting with red A, then click on blue 18, click on red B, click on blue 17, click on red C, click on blue 16, so on and so forth. There isn't anything with more variety than that to help me with my task-shifting skills, so I'll just do exercises at home from a software I purchased, as well as do online exercises available online at

I also liked the WALC 2 deductive reasoning/problem solving exercises. You can buy the book, if you like, at It helped me learn how to organize the clues better so I could solve the problems more quickly.

Anyone find anything helpful from cognitive remediation? If so, what and why?

For anyone in need of a neurologist...
Roseanne Rosanadana
I seem to recall there was a question posed on this or the brain_injury forum by someone in need of a good neurologist specializing in epilepsy. I just now looked down and found Dr. Orrin Devinsky's card on my floor; he's regarded in some circles as the gold standard of epilepsy doctors, and I knew a woman who was really amazed I had ended up seeing him. I've even seen him on the evening news once when they needed to call in an expert for commentary. (I don't remember how I ended up being referred to him.)

He's still at NYU, right across the street from Rusk Institute. I just called the number, and I got the voicemail; he's still in the same office.

Who was it who originally asked for a recommendation?

Anyone Try Cognitive Remediation in Past 5 Years?
Was it anything more than being sat in front of a computer and doing computer games you could do by yourself at home? I bought the computer cog remediation programs, and am wondering if going to a neurologist who specializes in cog remediation would provide me with anything beyond things I could do just as well, if not better, on my own at home?

SPECT Me Up Scottie...?
SPECT is, according to the Mayo Clinic, a single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) scan lets your doctor analyze the function of your internal organs. A SPECT scan is a type of nuclear imaging test, which means it uses a radioactive substance and a special camera to create pictures of your organs. For instance, a SPECT scan can show how blood flows to your heart or what areas of your brain are more active or less active.

Have you or someone you know received a SPECT scan of the brain? If so, what benefits came from the SPECT scan? For now, I think I'll pass on it because the radioactive component of the test is said to equate to one year of radioactivity one can expect to receive from their environment.

brainetics - anyone try it?
Hi all. I just received my package purchase of brainetics. Have you tried it? What do you think?

Spark Up the Neurogenesis Machine
According to, "neurogenesis is the process by which new nerve cells are generated. In neurogenesis, there is active production of new neurons, astrocytes, glia, and other neural lineages from undifferentiated neural progenitor or stem cells. Neurogenesis is considered a rather inactive process in most areas of the adult brain". According to the Society for Neuroscience, "To live and become part of the working brain, a new neuron needs not only support from neighboring glial cells and nutrients from blood, but also, and more important, connections with other neurons. Without these connections, neurons wither and die."

"Research to date suggests that the most active area of neurogenesis is the hippocampus, a region deep within the brain involved in learning and memory. Research has shown that thousands of new cells are produced in the hippocampus each day, although many die within weeks of their birth."

Here are some helpful articles on the topic: , , ,

When I'm done researching, I will post my fact-based findings, conclusions and experiences here with edit dates. If you have anything to add, any questions, or comments, please, by all means, do so.

Free 5-Day Brain Training Exercises

If you find that this link is broken, or no longer offers a free 5-day brain training program of exercises, please let the community owner/s know.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine's Health Alerts, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is, "A form of chronic psychological stress that follows exposure to a traumatic event such as an earthquake, a violent crime (rape, child abuse, murder), torture, an accident, or warfare." Therefore, a brain injury, as well as any other life-threatening injury, can cause post-traumatic stress disorder.

Do you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? If you are not sure, a psychologist can diagnosis you. This link informs what the criteria are for PTSD.

What have you, or someone you know, found helpful in overcoming post-traumatic stress disorder?

For me, I've found using the 'worst case scenario' method quite helpful, to put things into perspective. A therapist I went to for help with PTSD suggested, aside from using the 'worst case scenario', to use generalizing (recognizing that it is a normal part of life for everyone to feel anxious about things, such as misunderstandings, rejection, stage fright, etc), positive self-statements (chapter the therapist utilized ) and to use relaxation methods outlined on a previous post in this community ( ).

Perseveration (uncontrollable repetition) - How do you handle it?
As a result of frontal lobe lesions, specifically in the dorsolateral convexities (see pages 451 - 453 here for reference), perseveration can occur. Perseveration, according to the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary 2007, is "continual involuntary repetition of a mental act usually exhibited by speech or by some other form of overt behavior".

What do you do to help yourself come out of the state of perseveration when you find its impacts more negative than positive?

I have perseveration as a result for frontal lobe tbi, especially when in an interpersonal conflict... I have difficulty letting go while I wait for the person I'm having an interpersonal conflict with to respond, especially if I don't get a response for more than 2 days.

Here are tips I've received from a therapist to help overcome the negative impacts (there are positive impacts as well) perseveration causes me:

To refocus what part of our brain is active during the perseverating thoughts, so we can 'let go', and perhaps return to the thoughts again later, from a more relaxed, less ruminating state:

Anyone have Retrograde Amnesia? Know Someone who Does?

Per , "retrograde amnesia is a form of amnesia where someone will be unable to recall events that occurred before the onset of amnesia. The term is used to categorise patterns of symptoms, rather than to indicate a particular cause or etiology. Both retrograde amnesia and anterograde amnesia can occur together in the same patient, and commonly result from damage to the brain regions most closely associated with episodic/declarative memory: the medial temporal lobes and especially the hippocampus."

I've retrograde amnesia in which I cannot recall ages 0 - 17 years very well, and the memories which I do have are not associative ones. As a result, I'm finding myself wanting to regress to childhood and teen activities and behaviors. Anyone have any experience with retrograde amnesia, helpful tips...?



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