Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: What Does This Therapy Consist Of?

In recent years, more and more people are beginning to talk about neuropsychological stimulation and/or rehabilitation, but what does this treatment consist of?

What is neuropsychological rehabilitation?

There are some diseases, both physical and mental, that can cause problems that affect a person’s life. In these cases, professionals try with all their tools to provide the best techniques in order to give more autonomy and well-being to affected patients. In recent years, more and more people are beginning to talk about stimulation and/or neuropsychological rehabilitation But, in what consist this treatment?

What is neuropsychological rehabilitation?

When we talk about the cognitive rehabilitation technique We are referring to a therapeutic method carried out by a neuropsychologist, aimed at improving or compensating for neurocognitive difficulties that arise in different processes that affect the normal functioning of our brain.

The neuropsychological rehabilitation It is a treatment aimed at people who have suffered brain damage. There are many situations that dispose a patient to this type of treatment; This is the case of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), substance abuse, infectious diseases, tumors, neurodegenerative diseases or neurodevelopmental disorders, among others.

Cognitive functioning can be affected by sudden brain damage, such as: Stroke, traumatic brain injury, infections in the nervous system, multiple sclerosis, etc. Depending on the damaged brain area and the degree of involvement, we can observe different deficits. We can find difficulties in one or more cognitive functions:

  • Attentional capacity
  • Concentration
  • Mental agility
  • Memory
  • Language
  • Visual and spatial relationships
  • Calculation
  • Reasoning
  • Organization
  • Planning
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How does neuropsychological rehabilitation work?

Through brain training, or retraining, and thanks to neuroplasticity achieved thanks to advances in neuropsychology (the ability of the brain to change and regenerate itself through stimulation and learning) we are going to get new nervous connections to begin to form to replace those that have been lost and are responsible for our current difficulties.

Through therapy cognitive rehabilitation Brain training is carried out that allows us the greatest degree of independence possible. From an exhaustive neuropsychological evaluation, the patient’s cognitive profile is obtained, with its weaknesses and strengths, with which we will set the objectives of the therapy.

How does cognitive rehabilitation work?

Therefore, before starting any therapy we must carry out a complete study of the patient’s cognitive status that indicates their cognitive profile, as well as the real causes of their difficulties, in order to plan an intervention focused on the particular needs of each individual, their cognitive functioning, their level of consciousness and their ability to self-regulate.

In summary, the cognitive rehabilitation It is defined as a global neuropsychological intervention process that must be carried out by a qualified professional who is aimed at recovering the patient’s functionality and who works together with the person and their family environment.

How is neuropsychological rehabilitation designed?

In order to design a neuropsychological rehabilitation individualized, adjusted to the patient, we perform a neuropsychological examination, through which we evaluate the cognitive functions (attention, memory, executive functions, visuospatial functions…), the psychosocial, emotional and personality sphere of the patient.

The final objective is to define and profile its strengths and weaknesses, establish therapeutic objectives and priorities. It is vitally important that family members get involved in the therapeutic process since the consultation is still an artificial situation and the real task is what the patient does when he returns to his environment, at which time he puts into practice all the things learned.

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How is a neuropsychological rehabilitation session done?

Currently there are many computer programs aimed at cognitive rehabilitation, emerged as a result of the creation of the famous game “Brain Training”, however, the cognitive stimulation system on which they are based is still what we find in most day centers: paper and pencil cards, with activities that They remind us of school homework, tasks that have been shown to have little ecological value; That is, they are not generalizable to the patient’s daily environment.

When we realize that someone close to us has cognitive problems (attention, memory, planning ability…) either because they have lost them, or because we notice a problem in their development (for example with reading or writing…), we will go to the Neuropsychologist, who is the professional who carries out the evaluation, diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment.

However, let us not forget that for complete rehabilitation, psychologists, physiotherapists, doctors and other health professionals come into the picture, who are sometimes the ones who alert families that something is not working and are the ones who create the care circuit best adapted to the patient.

“Let’s not expect things to change if we always do the same thing”