Common Cognitive & Behavioural Changes Post Brain Surgery, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Common Cognitive & Behavioural Changes Post Brain Surgeryby Dr Harish Naik

Brain surgery, which is one of the complicated procedures can have an overwhelming impact on a patient’s emotional state. Like any treatment, it is not unusual to feel worse post the operation. Though this feeling is temporary, it can be depressing.

There are many physical changes post the surgery like swelling in the brain post the procedure, dizzy spells or getting confused about the whereabouts. Such episodes can occur in brief intervals during the recovery; however, the benefits of the operation will be seen gradually, so do not get over stressed if you cannot see advantages of the surgery overnight.

While some might recover completely within few weeks or month, for others it could be a permanent change and they may not be able to do the daily tasks like they did prior to the surgery. Therefore, it becomes crucial to get all the required details from the surgeon, so that they can adapt to their life post-surgery in a more seamless manner.

Impact on mood
Since the brain has control over our mood, post any procedure there are chances that one’s personality might change. A tumour tends to press the nerves in the brain and cause them to swell, thus it can have a profound impact a person’s behavior.

The frontal lobe is associated with personality and behaviour, it controls an individual’s emotions, and the brain tumour is usually located in the same place. Also, tumours that affect the pituitary gland can cause the gland to under- or overproduce hormones, leading to an imbalance, thus, impacting a person’s mood.

Such intense brain related procedures and even chemotherapy tend to have a physical impact, leading to a change in an individual’s personality as the detection of brain tumour can influence someone’s mental and emotional state.

Cognitive and Behavioural Changes
Along with emotional changes post-surgery, a person may even experience changes in their day-to-day behaviour, due to the impact on the ability to think. One may experience difficulty in communication, concentrating, and even suffer memory loss, which can impact a person’s personality and mannerism.

These problems may affect a patient’s ability to do daily chores or work life, which can cause even more stress not only to the patient but even to their family. To help with the same, doctors can prescribe medications and advise them to go for counselling, which will help reduce problems related to cognitive and behavioral changes. Some tools to cope with cognitive and behavioural changes are as follows.

  • Cognitive Rehabilitation: It is designed to help one regain their mental, physical, and emotional abilities.
  • Compensation Techniques: These are used to develop skills which helps to make up for the lost sight, speech, and movement. Also, when full recovery is not possible, treatment can include compensation techniques like learning to live with memory loss, keeping a calendar to note appointments or schedules, using reminder systems, and organizers. In some cases, even medications are suggested to enhance mental functioning, like Ritalin.
  • Anger management training: For patients with changes in impulsiveness, frustration, or mood swings, anger management classes, counselling and medication can help a patient cope with changing emotions.

In case of any doubts or questions related to the mood and behavioural changes post brain tumour surgery or information related to symptoms to brain tumor, make sure you get in touch with neurosurgeons and brain experts. After all, early diagnosis can save lives and improve patient outcomes.

Dr Harish Naik, Consultant-Neuro Surgery, Fortis hospital, Vashi

(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETHealthworld does not necessarily subscribe to it. shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person / organisation directly or indirectly.)

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