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Traumatic Brain Injury: Cognitive Impairment and PTSD

Clinical Master Class Evening held on 23 July 2014

These recorded lectures are available to be viewed for a small fee at Owl Talks Lectures.

Cognitive Impairment after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Dr Alexandra Walker

This presentation provided a definition of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), an explanation of the meaning of severity in the context of TBI and the characteristics that determine different levels of injury severity. Short-term sequelae and long term outcome after TBI were outlined. The nature of concussion and post-concussion syndrome and the factors that are significant in causing and prolonging this condition were reviewed. Mild TBI was defined and its symptoms and characteristic outcomes described. Controversies and complicating factors in mild TBI were presented. Implications for psychological treatment with individuals who have had a mild TBI were discussed.

A Case Study of a Refugee Client with PTSD and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Mirjana Askovic

Refugees fleeing war or torture are exposed to increased risk of traumatic brain injury from exposure to blunt force (beatings) and penetration (bullets, shrapnel) injuries to concussive effects (bomb blasts).  Traumatic Brain Injury complicates the psychological treatment and rehabilitation of trauma survivors, demanding a multi-modal, brain-bassed approach to therapy. One such approach uses electroencephalogram (EEG)  to identify abnormal patterns of brain activity  that  might correlate with specific cognitive  or emotional  problems . In this, EEG can complement cognitive and psychological testing and the clinical interview to deepen our understanding of the client’s presenting symptoms and help us chose the appropriate treatment modality and evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment. To illustrate this, the case study of a 50 year old Burundian client with a history of brain trauma and PTSD was presented.  In this case, Neurofeedback therapy was used to teach the client regulate his brain activity and ultimately improve his sleep and cognitive functioning.

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