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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

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Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Brain Injury and Allocation of Limited Resources – Executive Management by Frontal Lobe

Infant brain injuries can occur during your baby’s delivery or even during the neonatal period, and can sometimes be the result of medical negligence or malpractice.

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Neonatal brain damage typically disrupts the correct development of a baby’s brain, which can result in mild to severe cognitive or motor impairment, with a long-term impact on the child’s health and well-being.

The Frontal Lobe – The Cerebrum

The outer part of the brain is comprised of rounded ridges referred to as gyri. Each gyrus is separated by grooves that are called fissures. Some of these are very pronounced and serve as boundaries between the brain’s four lobes.

The lobe of the brain that is right at the front is the frontal lobe. It is important since it is responsible for planning and voluntary movement. Researchers suggest it is also the most important lobe for personality and intelligence. Some of the most noted functions associated with this area of the brain include:

Elk & Elk
  • Problem-solving
  • Coordinated movement
  • Judgment
  • Abstract thought
  • Emotion

Also located in the frontal lobe is the motor cortex. The motor cortex controls motor function. The lowest parts of the motor cortex tend to control the mouth and facial muscles. The parts of the motor cortex towards the top of the head are in charge of controlling the feet and legs.

Executive Functions and Dysfunctions

Executive dysfunction refers to the range of behavioral, emotional, and cognitive difficulties that tend to occur when the frontal lobe is injured. Impairment of executive functions often occurs after a brain injury and can have a profound effect on a range of everyday life aspects.

What Are Executive Functions?

Executive functioning is a general term that refers to a range of abilities, such as:

  • Monitoring performance
  • Flexible thinking
  • Organization
  • Planning
  • Multitasking
  • Motivation
  • Solving unusual problems
  • Making decisions
  • Self-awareness
  • Social behavior
  • Learning rules
  • Initiating appropriate behavior
  • Controlling emotions
  • Inhibiting inappropriate behavior
  • Concentrating
  • Taking in information

How Is Executive Dysfunction Rehabilitated?

The rehabilitation of executive dysfunction can be somewhat challenging and usually requires an individualized treatment approach. While most executive dysfunctions in babies with brain injuries may only show up as the child grows up, the rehabilitation program for each patient will depend on the nature of their difficulties, their goals, their readiness to engage in treatment, self-awareness, and other issues like mood disturbances.

A range of treatment approaches may be used for babies, such as:

  • Physical therapy to develop physical independence by teaching your baby a series of exercises. Training often includes strength training, flexibility exercises, and joint mobilization movements. This can help with motivation, following rules, and even multitasking skills.
  • Occupational therapy can help your child as he or she grows up with emotional issues and cognitive issues.

An important part of the rehabilitation process is understanding the effects of your baby’s injuries, how they happened, and what can be expected in the long-term.


The frontal lobes of the brain are most often affected by acquired brain injury and are not as common in birth brain injuries. Damage to this area of the brain is likely to cause symptoms that are collectively referred to as executive dysfunction.

The diverse ways in which executive difficulties with the frontal lobe present themselves mean that rehabilitation and thorough assessment are not as straightforward as they may seem. But, with the right rehabilitation and use of coping strategies for you and your child, many people make good recoveries and learn how to manage their difficulties.