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Cognitive Remediation for Post-Concussion Syndrome

The neuropsychologists at the Weill Cornell Medicine Concussion and Brain Injury Clinic use state-of-the-art tools for cognitive remediation geared at enhancing attention and memory — all the cognitive skills that go into optimal daily functioning.

After prolonged symptoms of a concussion, cognitive remediation (also called cognitive rehab or cognitive rehabilitation) is a valuable therapy to help a patient overcome these difficulties. Cognitive remediation treatment can teach long-lasting skills that help restore and maintain everyday functioning. Research has demonstrated that cognitive remediation interventions that incorporated elements of memory, processing speed, and attention led to significant improvements in brain-injured populations. Cognitive remediation treatment incorporates all domains of functioning: emotional, behavioral, and cognitive.

Cognitive rehabilitation is based on the principle of neuroplasticity, meaning that the human brain is not a static organ but can be physically changed. These changes can occur within neural pathways and synapses after exposure to enriched environments. Cognitive remediation provides such an enriched environment.     

What is cognitive remediation/cognitive rehabilitation?

  • Cognitive remediation is a goal-oriented and time-limited treatment geared at optimizing functioning and reintegration into daily activities.
  • Cognitive remediation incorporates psychotherapy in order to support the individual as he or she experiences emotions related to a brain injury or concussion.
  • Cognitive remediation incorporates attention-enhancing exercises that require internal neurological functions. These attention exercises engage both visual and auditory skills, both of which are essential to many everyday tasks.  Attention and information-processing exercises are designed to enhance information retention and recall, contributing to improvements in memory. 
  • Attention, memory, and executive functions are interdependent, and impairments in these areas can impact daily functioning. Therefore, exercises that increase capacity for attention, working memory, and short-term memory will increase overall mental capacity. Such exercises also increase an individual’s awareness of the mental effort required to process information. 

Physical, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive changes after sustained symptoms of a concussion can be stressful, but with high-quality rehabilitation — both physical and cognitive — a patient can achieve excellent results and a good quality of life.

Here at the Weill Cornell Concussion and Brain Injury Clinic, we want you back to school, back to work, and back to life! Brief cognitive remediation treatment can help you to get back your confidence in your functioning, teach you strategies to enhance cognitive functioning, and come up with customized strategies to meet your needs at work or school. The end goal is getting you back to a normal, healthy life.

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