What are the most common symptoms of a head injury?
In the case of frontal lobe injury, often there is Frontal Lobe Syndrome, also known as Dysexecutive Syndrome. Frontal Lobe Syndrome is common in brain injury because of the way that coup contra-coup injury works, combined with the complex connections between the frontal part of the brain in the frontal lobe and all the other structures in the brain. Symptoms include problems with executive function in the areas of judgment and planning, self-regulation, concentration and sustained attention.
With injury in the temporal lobe, there will be a variety of types of memory impairment. Speech impairment, specifically verbal expressive impairments, as well as auditory and visual perceptual problems will occur.
An injury to the brainstem can cause difficulties with vital functions such as pulse rate, heart rate, respiration and temperature control of the body.
An injury in the cerebellum can cause motoric issues related to coordination and balance, maintaining equilibrium, as well as muscle tone.
Injuries to the occipital lobe can result in vision problems.
Parietal lobe injuries may result in issues with pain, touch, headache, hypersensitivity to sensation and spatial orientation difficulties.
This is certainly not a comprehensive list, but it does highlight the fact that the pattern of impairment will be slightly different, depending on the injured individual and which areas of the brain are affected.
Angela Hein Ciccia, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences. Dr. Ciccia's research focuses on factors that impact children's ability to recover/develop in the presence of a diagnosis of an acquired (i.e., new onset) and/or developmental neurogenic communication disorder.