Frontal Lobe Damage

The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that controls cognitive skills of the body. These cognitive skills include the emotions, memory, problem solving skills, judgment, language and sexual behavior.

A frontal lobe brain injury can cause a huge change in a person’s emotional control. An aggressive behavior is usually manifested. In some cases lethargy is experienced. Any damages on the frontal lobe can also impair complex movements such as preparing coffee.

The frontal lobe controls motor skills like eye & hand coordination, emotions, conscious thought and even your personality. As a result of a brain injury, frontal lobe damage may impair your judgment, motivation, attention span and organizational capacity.

Because emotions are affected, the symptoms of frontal lobe damage can cause a person to become impulsive or to assume risky behaviors.

Frontal Lobe

Frontal LobeThe frontal lobe is the largest part of the brain. It is also the last part to develop. Because of its location, it is prone to injuries.

The front part of the frontal lobe is known as the prefrontal cortex. It is vital for the higher cognitive functions and personality determination.

The back part of the frontal lobe consists of the motor and pre-motor areas. It is responsible for producing and modifying movement.

Effects of Frontal Lobe Damage

MRI studies by Levin in 1990 indicated that the frontal lobe is the region that’s most likely to experience mild to moderate injury. The left frontal lobe is mainly responsible for controlling movements related to language while the right frontal lobe is responsible for the non-verbal movements.

Based from Kolb and Milner, an individual that suffered from frontal damage could display few spontaneous movements in the face and speak fewer words or vice versa for right frontal lesions.

A common characteristic of a frontal brain injury is difficulty to interpret feedback from the environment. There is also a dramatic change in a persons’ social behavior.

Symptoms of Frontal Lobe Damage

Damage to the frontal lobe can exhibit multiple signs and symptoms that can occur together. This event is called dysexecutive syndrome. It is divided into 3 categories: the cognitive (movement and speech), emotional and behavioral.

  • Movement: Presence of tremors, dystonia, apraxia, gait disorder and clumsiness.
  • Emotional: Difficulty controlling emotions, excitement, anger and depression including difficulty in understanding others opinions
  • Behavioral: Difficulty in utilizing and perseveration of behavior, social inhibition and in some cases compulsive eating.
  • Language : Presence of aphasia and expressive aphasia.

There are some studies where patients experience several symptoms but not all of them. Thus researchers are still arguing about the term dysexecutive.

Causes of Frontal Lobe Damage

The most common cause of frontal lobe disorders is a closed head injury like an accident, cerebrovascular disease which causes stroke, tumors such as meningiomas, Alzheimer;s disease, Pick’s disease or frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

The degree of dysfunction caused by right frontal lobe damage depends on the patients’ abilities before the TBI. Also it depends on the extent, location, and nature of the damage as a result of TBI.

To assess the frontal lobe damage, physicians requests for a complete neuropsychological evaluation. The testing measures speech, motor skills, social behavior, spontaneity, impulse control, memory, problem solving, language, and more.


Medical care for a patient with frontal lobe damage will be based on the status of the patient and the cause of the damage. For most head injuries,  physical and occupational therapy is always part of rehabilitation.

Speech therapy is also a vital part of the treatment especially for frontal lobe damage.

Consultation with a a neuropsychologist is also done to assess the nature and extent of damages in the cognitive function of the body. This also helps to make the necessary treatment plans for the patient and his family. This consultation also ensure that the patients’ environments and home setting is appropriate for the patient’s condition.

After identifying the extent of the injury and the patient’s new environment, consultants will then need assistance from a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a speech therapist. For some a home health aide, a visiting nurse, a respite care staff and an adult day care staff is needed to make the treatment successful.

The recovery time may take long. It depends on the severity of the injury and in some instances the patient may not fully recover. The rehabilitation process is not going to be easy. It needs full effort for both the patient and the family. Even though the patient undergoes therapy sessions,  unusual impulses may still happen and can result to impulsive or uninhibited behavior. Therefore, understanding from the people surrounding the patient is very important.

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stephen sheldrake
stephen sheldrake

hi my name is steve, about 30 years ago i fell off a roof in winchester hampshire, i literally landed on my head, no other part of my body was damaged, my knees had a bit of bruiseing. i was taken to winchester hospital and i stayed for a week as they could not move me. i was then moved to southampton hospital, i had literally smashed my skull. they took me to surgery and operated for 9 hours, they pulled my face down after cutting round the top of my head, they moved my eyes as the sockets were… Read more »


oh my goodness Stephen you have been thru so much. It is a miracle that you survived. Life is such a mystery and we just don’t have all the answers…..Stephen, I hope you know that you are deeply loved and considered very worthy by your Creator. I think its hard living in this social media generation where everyone looks so happy and everyone seems to have so many friends…..but at the end of the day, we all have many of the same struggles, just masked in different ways. I hope you keep writing about your life. What you shared was… Read more »


Stephen, I will pray for you. I feel you are braved to share your store and your triumph, but least not forget your struggle. In today’s day and age people are often quick to assume, but unless they are not perfect, they do not understand. I am a grad student in clinical psychology and will say that your bravery is a testament, given so many hide from the public fearing judgment. I think you are important because you have no idea how your story will inspire others-especially those who sustained traumatic brain injury and struggle to get out of bed… Read more »

leon walton
leon walton

hey dude I too suffered a head injury when I was about 7 now at 36 I have managed to do a lot more I have control of the depressive and suicidal thoughts. I do still struggle with people but can manage enough that most no longer notice. some days I slip and revert a bit but that will happen and iv’e come to accept that. in short keep pushing yourself and it will improve just take it at your own pace as you are the one that will know when your trying to hard. hope this helps.


Hi Stephen. My name is Steve too & I had a hemorrhagic stroke 3.5 months ago. I’m so sorry you’re suffering so much & I will pray for you. My brain injury is nothing compared to yours but my aftermath seems similar, though far less severe. I was in the hospital for a month, the 2nd half of which was in a rehab hospital where I then had Day Rehab for another 6 weeks until May 15. By the grace of God I’ve made nearly a full (95+%) physical recovery & never had measurable cognitive deficits. So, I too am… Read more »


Has anyone seen symptoms come and go over the years?