Frontal Lobe Damage

Have you ever been told your personality is "left brain dominant" or maybe "right brain dominant"?  Do consider your actions to be driven by your emotions or logic?  If you identify yourself as left brain or right brain dominant chances are you are aligning yourself with the areas of the brain that control the functions that best describe you.  Well what if you suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) to the area of your brain that you feel is more dominant?  Will your personality change?  Will your mood be effected?  Will you have to learn to write with your other hand? To answer these questions you must understand the different hemispheres of the brain and determine how the severity of the TBI will affect them. 

A frontal lobe brain injury refers to a traumatic brain injury that affects the front area of your brain. This is your brain’s largest lobe.

"The frontal lobe controls motor skills like hand/eye coordination, conscious thought, emotions, and even your personality. As a result of a brain injury, frontal lobe damage may impair your attention span, motivation, judgment, and organizational capacity."
Because your emotions are affected, the symptoms you experience from frontal lobe damage may manifest causing you to become impulsive or assume risky behaviors.

About The Frontal Lobe

Your frontal lobe, which consists of a right and left lobe or hemisphere, is the hub of "who you are"; your emotions and personality. Both lobes deal with social, emotional, motor, and sexual behavior, as well as problem solving, decision making, and memory.

Your left frontal lobe deals with language abilities (the logical thinker) while the right frontal lobe is generally more concerned with non-verbal aspects of communication (the artist), such as the awareness of emotions in one’s facial expressions. The right lobe is also in charge of picking up auditory signs like the tone of voice when someone is angry, sad, or scared. The right frontal lobe is more involved with negative emotions, while the left frontal lobe is more involved in positive emotions.

Effects of Frontal Lobe Damage

Therefore, left frontal lobe damage will affect language, verbal skills and positive emotions, while right frontal lobe damage will affect non-verbal communication and negative emotions.

The degree of dysfunction caused by right frontal lobe damage or left frontal lobe damage will depend on your abilities before the TBI, as well as the extent, location, and nature of the damage as a result of the TBI. To assess the frontal lobe damage, your physicians should give you a complete neuropsychological evaluation. The testing measures speech, motor skills, social behavior, spontaneity, impulse control, memory, problem solving, language, and more.

Frontal lobe damage is most often the result of an injury caused by a fall, gunshot, or car accident. Although frontal lobe damage may be permanent, treatment and rehabilitation can enable you to regain a degree of prior functioning. Strengthening existing skills and compensating for lost skills are the goals of rehabilitation and recovery. Focus is placed on helping you regulate emotions and curb impulsive behaviors.

Because frontal lobe damage affects most aspects of behavior, mood, and personality, during recovery, you will have to adapt what was previously basic human behavior, such as the relationship with oneself and others.