Right Hemisphere Injury The brain is a very powerful organ that us humans have in our bodies. Without the brain the body would not be able to function. The brain is the center of the nervous system and it controls some of your basic types of responsiveness such as reflexes. The brain is made up of two hemispheres, the right and the left. The left hemisphere controls the right side of your body and the right hemisphere controls the left side of your body.
Most people in the world are right handed which means that your left side of their brain is in constant use and their right side of their brain is normally at rest.
Not only is the brain the major organ in your body it is also one of the most sensitive organs. The brain is so sensitive that a minor bumping of the head can cause injury to it. Right hemisphere injury is damage to the right side of your brain.
Injury to either side of your brain can be harmful to the rest of your body, but injury to the right side of your brain damages your cognitive functioning. For over one hundred years scientists have discovered that the left side of the brain controls the language skills in 95 percent of right-handed people. The studying of the brain began during the renaissance.
Scientists thought that the two hemispheres were the same and they didn’t notice a difference between the two until the 19th century. Around the 1960s experiments were beginning to show that the right hemisphere had something to do with the language abilities. “The right brain hemisphere was thought to possess only lower level capabilities and was considered subordinate to the left side” (Right-Brain Hemisphere). The right side of your brain is responsible for the auditory and visual imagery. When the right side of the brain is damaged, people usually have a hard time recognizing faces and songs and also meeting new people.
They have a hard time meeting new people due to the fact that it is very difficult for them to remember the new faces. Since the right hemisphere also deals with emotions, people whose right hemisphere is damaged have a hard time producing and interpreting emotions. If the front of your right hemisphere is damaged then it is usually hard to produce strong emotions, but if the back of your right hemisphere is damaged then you can produce emotions but do not understand other people’s emotions. Also, when the right side of your brain is damaged, it can lead to cognitive communication problems such as impaired memory, attention problems, and poor easoning (Right Hemisphere Brain Damage). There are many different signs and symptoms when a person is experiencing right hemisphere injury. First, is a short attention span, people whose right side of the brain is injured normally lose attention quickly. They have trouble concentrating and also multi-tasking. Not only do they have trouble paying attention they also have trouble remembering things. It becomes difficult for them to drive as they forget street names and directions that they were once familiar with. They have trouble remembering certain dates and important information such as their birthday and age.
This is similar to Alzheimer’s disease, which is a disease that also affects your brain and its function to memorize things. Since the right hemisphere of your brain controls your thinking process, solving problems and organization when faced with an injury it becomes a very difficult task. Telling a story or giving directions in order is something that you no longer can do. Social communication also becomes a problem pertaining to gestures and other nonverbal communication becomes difficult to understand. Left side neglect also occurs. Left side neglect is a form of attention deficit.
This means that the person normally does not pay attention to the left side of their bodies. They won’t chew food on the left side of their mouth, they won’t brush the left side of their hair, and their reading is also affected because they may not read the words on the left side of the page. Right hemisphere injury is normally caused by strokes, tumors, surgery gone wrong, infection/illness, and traumatic brain injuries. The location and the degree of the injury vary with each incident. When dealing with strokes it always affects the right side of the brain. It slows down you mental development and it interacts with your motor skills.
When you are a child and you have damage to your right hemisphere it’s a little bit different than when you are an adult. Your brain cannot develop language skills as quickly as children. For example when you are a child and you are just starting to learn words from your parents and you have right hemisphere injury, you will not be able to mimic their words, thus slowing down your understanding and mental awareness of the language. The right hemisphere of your brain can greatly affect your verbal communication. Almost 50 percent of the people who suffer from right hemisphere injury have some type of verbal communication impairment. A patient with right hemisphere damage can, amongst other things, show difficulty transmitting communicative intentions based on emotions, on modulation of speech parameters, and on indirect meanings of discourse or figurative language” (Abusamra, V. (2009). ). Considering the fact that the person has trouble having a conversation, it’s not just difficult for them it’s also difficult for the people around them such as their family and friends. Their family and friends has to put in extra work to try to comprehend what the person experiencing right hemisphere damage is saying. The capacity to establish semantic relationships between words may also be altered in patients with right hemisphere damage”. This means that as stated earlier people who are affected by RHD (right hemisphere damage) have trouble putting together stories and recalling events that happened in the past. They remember the unusual details of the story and they sometimes justify the details. “One of the salient characteristics of patients with RHD is their inability to respect the principle of cooperation that regulates conversation.
Amongst other things, they have difficulty respecting turn-taking, maintaining appropriate visual contact with their interlocutor, and controlling the progression and coherence of the topic during the communicative exchange” (Abusamra, V. (2009). ). Individuals with right hemisphere injury may have trouble maintaining eye contact, starting a conversation, using and interpreting facial expressions, and also understanding nonverbal communication (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Speech-Language Pathology Practice Council (2012, September). . An individual with right hemisphere injury should see a specialist. Nine times out of ten they should see a speech-language pathologist. SLP specializes in communication disorders and will work with the individuals to develop a treatment plan designed to improve their cognitive communication abilities (Right Hemisphere Brain Damage. (2013). ). During the treatment or therapy the individual will be working the muscles in the brain to help develop the right hemisphere.
Activities such as using repeated presentation of the Token Test, which is associated with change of the brain functions. Other beneficial treatments are using computers and with using computers the person will deal with training such as a reading task which applies with visual matching and reading comprehension. However, if that person is faced with a serious RHD and loses motor abilities of the left side of the body that person can also use a computer as a therapy to help receive movement in the fingers, arm tc. In addition to therapy and treatments, one treatment stood out to me the most. There is a treatment called “Edgeness” and what this does is allows the person to persistently remember where the object was placed (Abusamra, V. (2009). ). The doctor tells the patient to trace the object and while he or she is looking away the doctor moves the object to the left after moving the object the doctor tells the patient the grab the object to see if the patient remembers what and where the object was recently placed.
Also, other treatments like “Bookness” are designed to help patients focus on stimulating the brain. However, the treatment, “Bookness” which involves reading, should only be used after Edgeness in order to get the best results. Pertaining to child right hemisphere damage compared to adult right hemisphere damage, there are two people in my life that has been faced with a brain injury on their right side. A young child at the age of 3 months was dropped on his head and received a skull fracture that resulted in 50% of his right hemisphere of his brain to be removed.
Due to the re-moving of his brain he had constant seizures and his mental ability to interact, speak, and move became impaired. He went through a series of therapy such as language therapy, physical therapy, and mental teary to try to help improve his development. The activities that he participated in dealing with physical therapy were games that were associated with blocks. There were three blocks and each block was a different color and different shape and he had to match the color and the shapes. As far as language therapy, he had to say a series of words like mother, father, no, yes.
Not only did he have to say the words he also had to match the actions with the words. Now he is five years old but due to his injury he is at a mental state of a three year old, his motor skills and his language skills has improved. In comparison to the child, an adult who suffered from right hemisphere injury has no chance of recovery fully because his brain is fully developed. The adult was 47 years old when he got into a motorcycle accident which caused a skull fracture to the right hemisphere of his brain.
He had major surgery on his brain and he lost 50 % of his right hemisphere. When he began his recovery, the doctors had to basically restart his process of life. Meaning he had to learn how to re-walk, re-talk, and re-think. The doctors had activities such as daily exercises that involved using his motor and mental ablatives The doctors had flash cards having him explain the emotions and the faces of the cards. It was very difficult for him and also the people around him as they had to work with him in learning everything all over.
In conclusion right hemisphere injury is something that most people who suffer from this injury at an older age cannot bounce back from. It causes many problems and delays in the developmental system in the brain. However there are treatments but most treatments are not 100 percent accurate that they will work well enough for them to go back to normal. If you are surrounded by someone who suffers from right hemisphere injury there are certain things you can do to help them improve.
You can set up daily routines to help them familiarize themselves with the environment, you can lower loud background noises to help them better concentrate, and you can approach them from the right side and avoid moving rapidly. References Abusamra, V. (2009). Communication Impairments in Patients with Right Hemisphere Damage | Valeria Abusamra – Academia. edu. Retrieved from Academia. edu website: http://www. academia. edu/810990/Communication_Impairments_in_Patients_with_Right_Hemisphere_Damage Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Speech-Language Pathology Practice Council (2012, September).
LIFE Center: Communication Disorders due to Right Hemisphere Damage. Retrieved April 30, 2013, from http://lifecenter. ric. org/index. php? tray=content&tid=top125&cid=282 Right Hemisphere Brain Damage. (2013). Retrieved April 30, 2013, from http://www. asha. org/public/speech/disorders/RightBrainDamage. htm Right-Brain Hemisphere – Left, People, Hemispheres, and Split – JRank Articles. (2008). Retrieved April 30, 2013, from http://psychology. jrank. org/pages/545/Right-Brain-Hemisphere. html
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