For patients who have suffered a concussion, one of the most concerning sets of symptoms faced is neurocognitive dysfunction. This comprises elements of any of the following challenges that present in unique patterns for each patient. Difficulty with:
- Memory, particularly short and intermediate term
- Concentration or focus
- Following instruction that has multiple steps
- Processing information from multiple sources as occurs in crowds, classrooms, driving, shopping centers, etc.
- Numeric calculations
- Following concepts in written work
Neurocognitive rehabilitation at Highmark focuses first on objective identification of the specific areas in which the patient is experiencing challenges. This occurs through the use of computer-based, neurocognitive testing. Highmark believes that computer-based testing has clearly established itself in the medical literature, as at least as effective as older forms of neurocognitive testing, and more importantly there are many aspects of computer-based testing that make it superior to historic means of testing. Highmark clinicians have trained in the analysis and evaluation of these results and will then produce individualized rehabilitation programs.
The basic tenets of these programs are:
- Patients are directed to work to a prescribed timeframe or to the point that the patient senses symptoms may be starting at which point activity is stopped; and
- Repetition and progression is then applied, which translated means, that activities are repeated every day with gradually increased durations and level of difficulty.
Highmark extensively utilizes programs and systems from the rapidly evolving field of digital therapeutics as applied to human cognitive performance. Highmark utilizes a variety of apps and games, including virtual reality games, to assist in achieving rehabilitation goals while at the same time introducing both a degree of entertainment and more importantly objective scores and goal achievements that can be tracked by both the patient and the clinical team.
Highmark also utilizes a variety of cognitive apps and games to assist in achieving rehabilitation goals while at the same time introducing both a degree of entertainment and more importantly objective scores, and goal achievements that can be tracked by both the patient and the clinical team