People who experience brain injuries often experience cognitive impairment and emotional difficulties that can intefere with their daily
functioning and interpersonal relationships. Cognitive difficulties typically can include impairment in executive functions (planning, sequencing, initiation, inhibition, flexibility in thinking), complex attention, problems producing or understanding language, different aspects of memory, motor control and difficulty controlling behavior. Emotional symptoms typically include anxiety and depression, but may also include personality changes. Cognitive rehabilitation refers to therapeutic techniques that help improve such cognitive difficulties and help individuals develop skills to compensate for cognitive limitations resulting from brain injury of stroke. The techniques used are carried out by a professional certified and trained to administer cognitive rehabilitation interventions, such as a neuropsychologist. The goals of Cognitive Rehabilitation differ depending on the, age, injury, symptoms, and time since injury, abilities of each individual, type of injury, extent of the injury, and educational achievement, but techniques used generally focus on increasing behaviors that promote overall brain health, promoting optimal cognitive functioning, and learning skills to compensate for areas of difficulty. Research suggests that patients of all ages can benefit from cognitive rehabilitations, but that it is important to begin cognitive rehabilitation as early as possible to receive the most benefit. Ideally, patients should begin treatment less than a year after injury as those patients tend to experience the most improvement.