Frontal, Temporal, Parietal And Occipital Lobe Injuries

Determining which lobe was affected can be an initial challenge. Each brain injury is unique in the areas it affects. Recovery also depends on numerous factors that are not totally understood.

The San Francisco brain injury attorneys at Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP will work closely with you to obtain an accurate diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment. We will build your case through a detailed investigation guided by a team of knowledgeable expert witnesses and medical specialists who can evaluate, provide medical care, and fully explain the injury and your future needs. Then, we will present your case using cutting-edge, multimedia technology to clearly and thoroughly demonstrate the injury.

Here is a summary of some of the symptoms associated with different types of brain injuries.

Signs Of Frontal Lobe Injuries

The frontal lobe of the brain (behind the forehead) is the largest of the four lobes. It controls "executive functions." The back part of the frontal lobe controls voluntary movement. The frontal lobe is the "gatekeeper" of one's personality, controlling judgment, inhibition and emotional traits.

Frontal lobe injuries can cause the following symptoms:

  • Reduced drive, attention and an inability to focus on task (attending)
  • Personality or mood changes (emotionally labile) that might include aggression, uncharacteristic cursing or impaired judgment
  • Memory deficits along with slower information processing and difficulty solving problems
  • Problems with social interaction and an inability to leave a single thought (perseveration)
  • Inability to express language (Broca's aphasia)
  • Inability to plan properly and execute those plans (executive function)
  • Inability to plan a sequence of complex movements (sequencing)
  • Altered sense of smell (anosmia)
  • Loss of simple movement of various body parts (paralysis)

Tests to assess frontal lobe function include the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, block design, maze test and others that test word fluency, abstract thinking and metaphor interpretation.

Etiology Of Temporal Lobe Injuries

The temporal lobe is located behind the frontal lobe on both sides of the head above the ears. The functions of the temporal lobe include hearing, memory and speech. Trauma including contrecoup (occurring to the opposite side of the area that was impacted) can cause these injuries.

Temporal lobe damage can cause eight principal symptoms:

  • Disruption of auditory sensation and perception — such as hearing loss
  • Disturbance of selective attention of auditory and visual input — for example, failure to recognize faces (prosopagnosia in a right-sided injury)
  • Disorders of visual perception
  • Impaired organization and categorization of verbal material
  • Disturbance of language comprehension, including difficulty understanding spoken words (Wernicke's aphasia)
  • Impaired long-term memory and/or loss of short-term memory
  • Altered personality and affective behavior, including aggressive behavior, irritability and increased anger
  • Altered sexual behavior

Tests for temporal lobe function include Rey-Complex Figure (visual memory) and Wechsler Memory Scale (verbal memory).

Sensory Deficits Associated With Parietal Lobe Injuries

The parietal lobe (top of the head near the back of the brain) processes sensory input to form a single perception (cognition) and provides spatial coordination to represent the world around us. The parietal lobe receives sensory information from skin, the musculoskeletal system, taste buds and viscera. The main function of the parietal lobe is to detect various stimuli and differentiate the quality of the stimuli, such as intensity and textural differences.

Injuries to the parietal lobe can cause:

  • Inability to name an object (anomia)
  • Language disorders (aphasia) and an inability to find the right word (agraphia)
  • Reading problems (alexia) along with diminished writing and drawing abilities
  • Difficulty with hand-eye coordination and right-left disorientation
  • Difficulty with mathematics (dyscalculia or acalculia)
  • Lack of awareness of surrounding space (apraxia) and sensations (e.g., hot and cold)
  • Denial of deficits (anosognosia)

Common tests are the Kimura Box Test and the Two-Point Discrimination Test (somatosensory).

Occipital Injuries And Vision

The occipital lobe (back of head) is the primary area of the brain for processing visual information — visual reception and interpretation. It receives stimuli from the retina of the eyes and processes that information. The occipital lobe handles the relationship between past and present experiences. It is protected by the thickest part of the skull and its location in the back of the brain.

Occipital lobe injuries frequently cause:

  • Visual deficits (visual field cuts or cortical blindness), including difficulty identifying colors (color agnosia)
  • Difficulty locating objects and reading and writing
  • Inability to recognize words (i.e., word blindness), familiar faces or objects

Our attorneys are devoted to helping those who have suffered a brain injury due to someone's negligence recover full and fair compensation. For more information, please call 415-421-7995 or toll free 888-745-2988 or send us a message to schedule an appointment.