Frontal Lobe Damage

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 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.

Treatment

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.

16 thoughts on “Frontal Lobe Damage”

  1. 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 smashed. they had the front part of my skull on the table putting it together with titanium like a jigsaw, the main thing they done was skim my frontal lobe as there was shrapnel of bone embeded in my brain. i passed away on the bed once or twice. anyway the operation was sucseful and i can walk and talk i can do everything i am suposed to as a man. but inside my head i am very ill mentally, somtimes psycotic next minute dancing around the room. i find it very hard to be with people and a crowd is out the question. i suffer with bi-polar i get very depressed an often suicidal. lonlines eats my heart yet i cant be with people. nobody understands. i belong to headway here in jersey and they are wonderful. anyway i just wanted to talk to an outsider, who might understand some of what ive said. i really thankyou for your time.

    • 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 real and raw. It was refreshing and I bet there have been others who have read it and just didn’t know how to respond or what to say. Just start by writing how your day was….God Bless you. Isiah 41:9-13 (read it aloud everyday…it has brought me so much peace and calmed my anxious heart)

    • 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 and walk again, or talk. I understand your demons and the mental illness you have, but you are stronger because you survived a great feat and God would not have had you survive your ordeal if you didnt have a reason to live. I believe you were saved to provide strength to so many and my prayer for you is that you understand this.
      -Tracey from Ohio

    • 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 able to do everything I’m supposed to as a man plus very high level functioning. Yet, I’m an emotional wreck. Yesterday I went back to my rehab hospital for a support group but it was canceled so I went to see my main therapists & a few nurses. I felt so happy after talking to all of them, but last night I couldn’t fall asleep & at 2am had a bit of a panic attack & began sobbing like I haven’t since I was a child.

      I also was diagnosed bipolar a few years ago & some think that might have been due to blood flow problems caused by the growing AVM that finally ruptured & gave me a stroke. Much of my anger that increased over the past few years seems to have gone but my personality has changed & I’ve become clinically depressed, which I never was before. I too am feeling very lonely, even if I’m w/ my wife & 3 young sons, but no one understands. I was struggling already with work & money likely due to my bipolar & ADD, but the stroke has made those things worse. Yet, my wife & out-laws just think I’m using the stroke as an excuse for my current problems because I already had them before the stroke.

      I understand, on a far smaller scale, what you’re going through. I just want you to know you aren’t alone as there are others suffering similarly to how you are. Keep praying for God’s counsel, peace, & direction. He loves you. I love you & I’m praying fervently for you. Hang in there, Brother; God will bring you thru this. Blessings.

    • Stephen, hi buddy. John here.. I was hit by a drunk driver- the bumper shattered my leg throwing me up + into the windshield. Smashed my face, and broke my neck c3+ c5. I damaged my frontal lobe as well and hadn’t really understood the damage until I lost my baby brother to CTE related injuries sustained while playing football. His loss was so great that it demanded I investigate further and in doing so learned all about my residual effects.

      I’m so sorry to hear of your tragedy and believe me I do understand completely.

      It’s tough, I know.. and sending you all the best.

    • That’s really cool of you to share your story, and it’s an amazing and grizzly recovery. I hope you manage to get some good therapy to help you deal with the social stress, isolation, and behaviors you find hard to control. While my issues are nowhere as bad as yours, sometimes things as simple as being in nature, a hot bath with nice smelling bath salts to relax the muscles and help you breath deeply (regulates hormones and reduces stress), some exercise (gets rid of excess energy and releases endorphins) and stretching (calming) or even dancing wildly to a good song all on your own can make a person feel more positive and less stressed. It’s a very small thing, but sometimes it helps in the moment to make me feel better. I think we should celebrate the small amount of control we do have in our lives, and recognize that we can control at least one small thing, maybe if even for just a moment. Lots of people feel isolated, so you are not alone in that. Thanks again for sharing your experience, I want you to know that I love in a city and all sorts of people act wildly here, but I understand we all go through our own ordeals and I hope we can all get better, or at least feel better. Wild, weird, it’s O.K., we’re all struggling. Stay cool.

      (Side note: fish oil helps brain functioning, other keywords to look for might be “neurogenesis”. I don’t know what else may be helpful outside of exercise, antioxidants, stress reduction, animal therapy and maybe increasing bioflora with antibiotics and reducing inflammation? also, I’m not a doctor or anything, just some basic health stuff that might help if you haven’t covered all those bases. Joining a group of some sort may be good for you, just let them know beforehand about your issues. Some can handle these things, maybe some can’t, but don’t let that get you down, keep trying for the good life.)

      ^__^

  2. My husband suffered an bilateral frontal lobe stroke caused by an air embolism that also caused a blood infection, sepsis, and meningitis.This occurred 4 weeks after ablation/convergency surgery. It was sudden. Although his infection is under control, the doctors give little to no hope for the large bilateral stroke. He has had no voluntary responses. What can we expect?

  3. My daughter was around 3 or 4 when she fell and struck her head on a coffee table leaving a contusion like I’ve never seen before. It literally protruded from her forehead 3 or 4 inches. They sent her home without a scan and said to watch for a concussion. After that she began stealing and lying compulsively. No matter what kind of punishment we did this behavior has never went away. She struggled in school. They said she has a language comprehension issue but nothing that deemed her for special considerations in school. She dropped out. She is now 19 and what I would deem a “hot mess”. She cannot abide by social rules, is impulsive, lacks judgement, steals, lies, has no emotional regulation with emotional outbursts, appears to lack true emotional ties with others, cannot maintain relationships with friends or a boyfriend to just name a few things. Therapists have thrown out Borderline Personality Disorder or Antisocial Personality. I’ve always wondered if that head injury could be the root cause of her issues. Is there anyone else that has had a similar experience? Is there a way to find out and if so where do you start?

    • Take her to a neurologist and don’t stop fighting for her until they do a Diffusion Tensor Imaging MRI study of her brain. It’s not your fault and it’s not hers.

  4. I have had 4 good concussions over my lifetime, but one I had about 3 or 4 years ago has bothered me the most. I slipped and fell, hitting the right side of my forehead on the metal edging of a doorway corner. I still have a dent there that is noticeable. About a year ago I began having shocks or “zings” in that area daily and the doctor told me that it was “things” trying to reconnect. I find myself foggy headed following these and wondered if anyone else has experienced anything like this. Thanks.

  5. I also have had several concussions over the years and have always had a problem communicating with others. Just about 5 yrs ago I fell off a roof and landed on my head was unconscious for approximately 35 minutes and had 10 staples and 10 stiches in my head and face as a result. After that I came down with congestive heart failure with an EF of 15%. While recovering from that I passed out and landed directly on the frontal lobe and was unconscious for a few moments. Heres my main issue, my family has deserted me thinking that im always lashing out at them. During my heart episode I was in the hospital in ICU for approximately 12 days and While having 3 adult children in which two of them worked less than 5 miles away from the hospital I was visited a total of 3 times at about an hr each time from 2 of my children. The other was across country and could not make it out nor would I have wanted him to drop his life at the time and come. I was even told that I did not deserve to see my grandson that I was very close to and they followed through with that threat. I dont know how many times I told them that there was something wrong in my head but they chalked it up to me making excuses and a whole lot more ridiculous accusations. To this day I am shunned because they cannot handle the way I respond to their lack of understanding and lack of caring on their parts.. My ex and I were fairly close and for her not to even try to understand or educate the adult children blew me away. My first symptom was literally sobbing every few hrs every day. I didnt know one could shed that many tears. I have tried to educate them to absolutely no evail. They will argue with me till we are all blue in the face. Due to the stress of the situation today I have decided to cut all ties with my entire immediate family because I literally cant handle the physical pain it causes my heart and body. I would rather just die than be put through the pain of not seeing my grandkids or my kids. My daughter completely disowned me 2 yrs ago and blocked me from everything she could think of. My Son came from Baltimore across country for Christmas and didnt even tell me he was coming or here. I found out because I fortunately was granted permission to deliver Christmas presents to my Grandkids. Why the lack of understanding and compassion is beyond me. They knew about the heart failure and was also told about the brain injuries. I cant stand the thought that my Children have become grown adults with such a low level of compassion for their own father. I hate how this is gonna end.

    • Rick..
      I am so sad for you..
      It brings me tears that ur family is so hard and unfeeling towards you.
      Please know that someone out here is going to think about you and ask the universe to bless you.

    • Dear Ric,
      Don’t give up. I have frontal lobe injury. People don’t understand brain injury. We get lumped into a pile of crazy. The result is that we have trouble communicating. Making friends becomes impossible. I was very good at making bad decisions. My son doesn’t understand either. I don’t blame him. He doesn’t know what to make of it. I’ve never been like the other moms. He actually thinks that medical talk is nonsense, and that if I used mind-over-matter I would be fine. So I stopped trying to explain. I know he loves me. He has a weird way of showing it, and I leave it at that. It’s not up to you to try to explain. It’s up to you to know you are not broken. You have an unseen injury. It’s absurd but it’s true that people with a band-aid on get compassion. I think that is because they can identify with getting a scratch, but they cannot identify with having your brain smashed. Tell yourself, even through tears, that you are loved by God. God will never leave you. You must put your trust in Him. Ask Jesus for help. Trust me, it works! The past is the past.

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