Thursday, March 12, 2009

Living with frontal lobe disinhibition

Imagine for a moment having no filter to censor your thoughts before you speak.

That's the fate that befell Adrian Walker-Pittman of Woodlawn, Md., after she was tragically struck by a car 14 years ago. The incident left her in a coma for 15 days, and she missed a year of work while recovering from her injuries. Fourteen years later, she is still receiving treatment for a serious brain injury called frontal lobe disinhibition, which was featured on this week's episode of the popular medical drama "House".

With the help of RETURN!, a brain injury day treatment rehabilitation program at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Adrian has regained her independence.

"You have to learn how to go to the bathroom. You have to learn how to do personal hygiene. You have to learn everything all over again," Adrian says. "It takes a lot of work and it is not easy. But you can go on with your life after a brain injury."

The condition is most commonly caused by trauma to the brain. There is no telling when or if it will ever go away. Some people fully recover; others only improve marginally, says Melanie Brown, M.D., a RETURN! program physician.

Click here to see a Fox 45 News report on the condition and interview with Adrian and Dr. Brown.

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