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Cognitive Rehabilitation

What is cognitive Rehabilitation?

Memory, concentration, speaking, listening, writing, calculation are functions of the brain. If there is an injury to the brain in the area concerned with memory then the patient may lose his ability to remember. Similarly depending upon the location of the injury in the brain the person will lose the function which that part of the brain was performing. Cognitive Rehabilitation is a specialized treatment procedure to develop the functions of the brain affected by injury. Brain injury can be due to stroke, head injury, lack of oxygen to the brain, epilepsy etc. Faulty ways of learning can also lead to poor functioning of the brain functions particularly among the students and cognitive rehabilitation can help the students to drastically improve their memory, concentration, reading and writing skills.

There are two types of Cognitive Rehabilitation: Restorative rehabilitation which is to enable the person to develop the lost function through specialized computerized and manual exercises. Compensatory rehabilitation helps the patient to develop compensatory techniques to overcome the impairment.

Why do CR?

When the muscles are affected, physiotherapy enables the patient to develop the muscle strength and regain ability to perform the activities. Similarly the brain needs specific exercises to enable it to regain lost function after injury to the brain. Cognitive rehabilitation is normally done after one month when the patient medically stabilizes; it is always done along with medical treatment.

For whom is it helpful?

It is very helpful for people who have poor memory, concentration, difficulty calculating, making decisions, thinking clearly, speaking clearly etc. This is also done for people who have developed their brain functioning in a faulty manner due to poor supervision during childhood. Many people tend to accept their poor ability as their capacity instead of relearning the entire process and enhancing their functioning.

How is it done? For how long is it done?

The psychotherapist will make a comprehensive assessment of the impairment and select appropriate exercises using specific software. The exercises will start with simple ones and with the development of the brain, the difficulty and complexity of the exercises will be gradually increased. Initially Cognitive Rehabilitation is done both through manual exercises and a computerized program only in the clinic. In the second stage the patient in addition to the exercises in the clinic will do brain exercises at home. In the last stage, patient will be given exercises to perform in real life situations.

The number of sessions depends on the extent of damage to the brain. On average a patient may require minimum of seven sessions in a frequency of three times a week.

Mr. Ravi Samuel

Mr. Ravi Samuel, MA, MPhil, PGCARM (Lond.) is a certified rehabilitation professional trained in the United Kingdom. He has published many papers and has presented papers in international conferences. He runs his own Rehabilitation Centre in Chennai.

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