Neuropsychological rehabilitation is one that focuses on the treatment of disorders that affect any cognitive domain: attention, memory, perceptual-motor processes, executive functions (planning, inhibition, working memory, etc.), emotion and behavior. Cognitive functioning can be altered by different causes, one of these being Acquired Brain Damage (DCA). When we talk about DCA, we are referring to a sudden brain injury that has had normal development so far. This can be due to different causes: strokes or strokes, traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors, infections, anoxia, etc. Whatever the cause, the DCA has as its main consequence the loss of previously developed functions. These losses can be physical, cognitive and emotional, causing, in most cases, a loss of functional independence.
Neuropsychological rehabilitation, as mentioned above, is the one that focuses on the improvement of cognitive, behavioral and emotional functions. Cognitive deficits can range from mild to severe, where, for example, the person only notices a little difficulty when performing tasks, such as absent-mindedness, slowness or slight forgetfulness; or, in more serious cases, where the person is unable to remember what they did that morning, follow the thread of a conversation or prepare breakfast. It can also happen that the family perceives that the person has changed, that he is no longer the same as before; and that the patient does not realize their difficulties.
It is important to carry out a complete neuropsychological evaluation to be able to determine the damaged or altered functions, as well as those that are preserved, since the latter will be the basis of the rehabilitation process. You must also take into account how the person was before, his tastes and hobbies, so that the process is as motivating as possible and with significant objectives for him or her. The purpose of all this is to ensure that the person is as functional as possible in their day to day. This is done both with the patient and with the family, giving them information about the relative’s difficulties, orientation, guidelines and emotional support; among many others.
Finally, it should be noted that throughout the rehabilitation process it is necessary to work in an interdisciplinary way since, as mentioned at the beginning, the alterations that persist after a DCA are of a different nature, requiring the joint and coordinated participation of a team from different professionals.
Gilma Acosta Llopart