Impact of frontal lobe lesions on rehabilitation and recovery from acute brain injury

Paul J. Eslinger, Lynn M. Grattan, Laszlo Geder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The frontal lobe has been viewed historically in very different ways, ranging from enigmatic and mystifying to the crucial neural substrate for higher cognition and social behavior. Frontal lobe damage poses a unique and difficult set of challenges to the patient, their family and the neurorehabilitation team. Because of the role of the frontal lobe in adaptation and adjustment, such damage adversely affects a patient’s participation in the process and content of rehabilitation. To aid diagnosis and treatment planning, a model of frontal lobe organization is outlined, focusing on the specific cognitive and behavioral symptom clusters associated with superior mesial, inferior mesial, dorsolateral and orbital frontal lesions. A taxonomy of social executive processes is presented for identifying impairments in social behavior and personality, based upon the domains of social self-regulation, social self-awareness, social-sensitivity (empathy), and social-salience. Specific interventions are described that encompass dopamine agonist therapy for blunted affect, mutism and akinesia, cognitive strategies for improving organization and planning deficits, and evolving treatments for social impairments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-182
Number of pages22
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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