Brain Trouble

Brain Trouble!
Use the following information to create three separate scenarios of patients
with brain injury in at least two areas. For example, George has symptoms of
loss of sequencing ability and is unable to regulate his body temperature. Which
two areas are impaired?
The brain has many parts including the cerebral cortex, brain stem and
cerebellum. The brain is a very complex organ, it regulates every aspect of
human behavior. Everything about ourselves and the environment is
experienced through the brain. It has been described as a three pound universe.
It is thought to house the seat of the self, the place where the sense of self
Damage to the hippocampus interferes with the ability to store
new memories. Likewise, the ability to use language to recognize familiar faces,
to count, read and many other higher functions are depemdamt on intact
memory functions.Impairments in such basic functions are fundamental to
personal identity.
Wipe out one part of the brain and the person speaks fluent giberish; other
damage interferes with the ability to recognize familiar faces.
The following represents primary brain functions and some of the common
problems that result from brain injury. The brain functions as a interrelated
whole, however injury may disrupt a portion of an activity that occurs in a
specific part of the brain.
Terms in parenthesis are the technical terms used to describe certain deficits.
Illustration by McKenzie Illustrations
Frontal Lobes
Located: right under the forehead
(anterior) the frontal lobes are
involved in tracking and sense of self.
Additionally, they're involved in
arousal and initiations well as
consciousness of environment
reaction to self and environment
Executive functioning and judgments
Emotional response and stability
Language usage
Word associations and meaning
Memory for habits motor activity
Impairments caused by head injury:
Sequencing - difficulties planning and completing
complex tasks in correct order, such as making coffee.
Perseveration - repeating same actions and
comments over without conscious awareness of having
done so.
Loss of spontaneity in interacting with others.
Loss of flexibility in thinking, (mental rigidity).
Distractibility - easily distracted
Attention - difficulty focusing on tasks
Concentration difficulties
Mood swings - (emotional lability)
Changes in personality and social behavior
Diminished abstract reasoning - imagination
Difficulty with problem solving
Expressive difficulties - language usage and word
finding (Broca's Aphasia)
Loss of simple movement of various body parts
Parietal Lobes
located near the back and top of
the head
the Parietal lobe is involved in:
Visual perception
Tactile or touch perception
Object manipulation
Integration of sensory information
that allow for understanding of a
single concept
Goal-directed voluntary movements
Impairments caused by head injury:
Difficulties naming objects (Anomia)
Difficulties writing words (Agraphia)
Inability to attend to more than one object at a time
Inability to focus visual attention
Problems with reading (Alexia)
Poor hand-eye coordination
Confusing left-right orientation
Difficulty performing math calculations (Dyscalculia)
Difficulty drawing
Poor visual perception
Lack of awareness of certain body parts and/or
surrounding space (Apraxia) that leads to difficulties in
Temporal Lobes
Located on the Side of the head
above ears
The temporal Lobes have to do with
Auditory perception (hearing)
Long-term memory
Some visual perception
Object categorization
Impairments caused by head injury:
Difficulty remembering names and faces
Difficulty understanding spoken words (Wernicke's
Difficulty with identification of, and verbalization
about objects.
Difficulty with concentration
Short-term memory loss
Interference with long-term memory
Aggressive behavior
Change in sexual interest
Persistent talking (damage to right lobe)
Difficulty locating objects in environment.
Inability to categorize objects (Categorization)
Seizure disorders, auras and strange reveries
Occipital Lobes
Located at the back of the head
Visual perception
Visual defects (Visual Field Cuts)
Difficulty recognizing colors (Color Agnosia)
Visual illusions - inaccurately seeing objects.
Word blindness - inability to recognize words
Difficulty recognizing drawn objects
Difficulty perceiving movement (Movement Agnosia)
Loss of academic skills (reading, writing)
Illustration by McKenzie Illustrations
Back to main Brain Map
Cerebral Cortex
The wrinkled outer covering of the cerebrum
and is nicknamed the thinking cap. The cortex
wraps over and around the rest of the brain. At least
70% of the neurons in the human central nervous
system are in the cortex.
The cortex is involved with:
Planning for the future
Problem Solving
Learning from experience
Anticipating, reward and punishment
Much of our experience of ourselves and our
environment is gained through the cortex
Impairments caused by head
Severe damage to the cortex
can reduce a human to a
vegetable-like state. Mild to
moderate damage can produces
corresponding defects in
functions it regulates such as:
The four lobes of the brain:
frontal, temporal, parietal and
occipital mark the boundaries
of each region of the cortex.
Click here for additional
is attached to the brain stem at the base of the
skull the cerebellum or little brain processes input
from muscles, joints and tendons. It controls
posture, equilibrium and coordinates skilled
muscular movement and balance. It is more like a
brake than a motor, it regulates fine motor
coordination and prevents limbs from flailing about
out of control.
It is involved in:
Coordination of voluntary movement
Balance and equilibrium
Some memory for reflex motor movements
Perception, discrimination and emotional response
Impairments caused by head
Loss of ability to coordinate
fine movements
Loss of ability to walk
Inability to reach out and grab
Dizziness (Vertigo)
Slurred Speech (Scanning
Inability to make rapid
Brain Stem
Located, deep in the brain, leads to spinal cord.
Involved with:
Heart Rate
Reflexes to seeing and hearing (startle Response)
Controls sweating, blood pressure, digestion,
temperature (Autonomic Nervous System)
Impairments caused by head
Decreased vital capacity in
breathing, important for speech
Swallowing food and water
Difficulty with organization /
perception of the environment
Problems with balance and
Affects Level of Alertness.
Ability to Sleep
Sense of Balance (Vestibular Function)
Dizziness and nausea (Vertigo)
Sleeping difficulties (Insomnia,
Sleep Apnea)
Spinal Cord
Continuation of the lower part of the Brain Stem
the brain stem is involved in:
Coordination of voluntary movement
Balance and equilibrium
Some memory for reflex motor movements
Impairments caused by head
Loss of ability to coordinate
fine movements
Loss of ability to walk
Inability to reach out and grab
Dizziness (Vertigo)
Slurred Speech (Scanning
Inability to make rapid
Functions: Located beneath the thalamus
and laterally is continuous with the
subthalamic regions. It contains
neurosecretions which are of importance
in the control of certain metabolic activities,
such as maintenance of water balance, sugar
and fat metabolism, regulation of body
temperature, and secretion of releasing and
inhibiting hormones, it is the chief subcortical
region for the integration of sympathetic and
parasympathetic activities
Impairments caused by head
Water balance
Sugar and fat metabolism
Regulation of body temperature
Hormonal regulation