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7 signs of executive dysfunction after brain injury

Thu 26 Jan 2017

'Executive dysfunction' is not, perhaps, a particularly well known term, but the effects of brain injury that it covers are very common indeed. It is used to collectively describe impairment in the 'executive functions' - the key cognitive, emotional and behavioural skills that are used to navigate through life, especially when undertaking activities and interacting with others.

 

Although executive dysfunction is a common problem among many brain injury survivors, it is most commonly experienced following an injury to the frontal lobe.

The importance of executive functions is shown by the difficulties caused when they don’t work properly and someone has problems with executive dysfunction. Since the executive functions are involved in even the most routine activities, frontal injuries leading to executive dysfunction can lead to problems in many aspects of life.

Here we list the most common effects of executive dysfunction, with some examples of common issues that brain injury survivors can face:

Difficulties with motivation and organisation

Rigid thinking

Poor problem solving

Impulsivity

Mood disturbances

Difficulties in social situations

Memory/attention problems

Find out more

If you or someone you care for is affected by executive dysfunction, it is important to seek support. Speak to your doctor about your symptoms, and ask about referral to specialist services such as counselling, neuropsychology and rehabilitation. 

You can find out more and get tips and strategies to help manage your condition on our executive dysfunction after brain injury page.

Headway groups and branches can offer support in your area, and you can contact our helpline if you would like to talk things through.

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