The treatment of cognitive impairment is important to the recovery of individuals who have sustained brain injury. Common deficits after brain injury include difficulties with mental energy, attention, concentration, cognitive processing and speed, memory, language, sensory perception and regulation, planning, problem-solving, social function, behavior control, and emotional functioning. Left untreated, cognitive deficits have a negative impact on personal independence, social interaction, communication, mobility, recreational pursuits, self-care, and academic or vocational pursuits.
Cognitive rehabilitation is often a component of a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach, and includes an accurate assessment of neuro-functional status, often through a neuropsychological evaluation. The most effective therapy is believed to be that which is tailored to the individual’s deficits while building off of strengths, and often includes family members participation as well as external devices such as PDA’s and computer-assisted programs used at home.
Dr. Borchardt utilizes education and training exercises designed to regain lost skills, learn ways to compensate for permanently altered abilities, and maintain progress made after the brain injury. The cognitive training tools that are used include scientifically designed and researched computer programs, home therapy exercises, and education and training designed to draw out retained abilities or compensate for cognitive deficiencies. Some cognitive rehabilitation treatments are applied using actual functional activities in real-world settings. Dr. Borchardt will also assist in developing work-related accommodations.
A unique aspect of Dr. Borchardt's practice is her use of scientifically-designed and researched computer programs to develop individualized cognitive training protocols, including for home therapy. Progress is tracked using computer models developed by Dr. Borchardt. Patients use the home-based program to maintain progress after discharge from cognitive training therapy.