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Rev Neurol. 2007 Mar 1-15;44(5):291-7.

[Attentional impairment after traumatic brain injury: assessment and rehabilitation].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Departamento de Psicología Básica II, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, España.



Attention disorders are a major problem after traumatic brain injury underlying deficits in other cognitive functions and in everyday activities, hindering the rehabilitation process and the possibility of return to work. Functional neuroimaging and neuropsychological assessment have depicted theoretical models considering attention as a complex and non-unitary process.


Although there are conceptual difficulties, it seems possible to establish a theoretical background to better define attentional impairments and to guide the rehabilitation process. The aim of the present study is to review some of the most important pieces involved in the assessment and rehabilitation of attentional impairments. We also propose an appropriate model for the design of individualized rehabilitation programs. Lastly, different approaches for the rehabilitation are reviewed.


Neuropsychological assessment should provide valuable strategies to better design the cognitive rehabilitation programs. It is necessary to establish a link between basic and applied neuropsychology, in order to optimize the treatments for traumatic brain injury patients. It is also emphasized that well-defined cognitive targets and skills are required, given that an unspecific stimulation of cognitive processes (pseudorehabilitation) has been shown to be unsuccessful.

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