Physiotherapy Rehabilitation

Cognitive Rehabilitation – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

When someone struggles with memory, acquiring new skills, focus, or decision-making that impacts their daily life, they have cognitive impairment. There are minor to severe degrees of cognitive impairment. People with modest disability may still be able to go about their daily business while starting to detect changes in cognitive abilities. Severe impairments can cause one to become unable to speak or write, as well as to comprehend the significance or meaning of anything, which would make it impossible to live independently.


1. Symptoms

As we age, our brains also age. Many people need more forgetfulness, such as help recalling names or finding the right words.

The symptoms could be the result of cognitive impairment if worries about mental function exceed what is expected.

  • Things are more easily forgotten.
  • You struggle to follow a discussion.
  • You struggle to make choices, complete assignments, or follow directions.
  • You become confused about familiar locations.
  • Any of these changes become apparent to your friends and family.

In case of cognitive impairment, you might also encounter:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • lack of interest

“If you or your family member observes you have memory or cognitive issues. This can involve difficulties remembering recent events or thinking effectively.”


Cognitive impairment has no single cause, though early Alzheimer’s disease could cause it. The condition has no single result. Cognitive impairment symptoms may last for many years.

According to brain imaging studies, the following changes may be connected with cognitive impairment:

  • Reduced size of the hippocampus, a critical brain region for memory.
  • Growth of fluid-filled ventricles in the brain.
  • Decreased glucose usage in important brain regions. Glucose is the sugar that provides cells with the majority of their energy.

Risk Factors

Other medical conditions and lifestyle factors have been linked to an increased risk of changes in thinking, including:

  • Increasing age
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Depression
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Lack of mentally or socially stimulating activities


2. Trail Making Part B

  • Difficulties with memory or other mental functions. People with cognitive impairment may struggle with memory, planning, following instructions, and making decisions.
  • Mental status testing reveals a low level of impairment based on age and education level. Healthcare providers frequently provide quick examinations, such as the Short Examination of Mental Status, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), or the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). More extensive testing may assist in assessing the extent to which memory is compromised.

Neurological Exam

These tests can help detect signs of Parkinson’s disease, strokes, tumors or other medical conditions that can impair memory and physical function.
The neurological exam may test:

  • Reflexes
  • Eye movements
  • Walking and balance

Mental Status Testing

  1. Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA): Assesses memory, attention, executive functioning, language, and visuospatial abilities.
  2. Functional Independence Measure (FIM): The test measures functional independence in self-care, mobility, communication, and cognitive function.
  3. These assessments provide valuable insights into each patient’s cognitive abilities and challenges, enabling the development of tailored treatment plans that address their unique needs.
  4. Assessment results help clinicians identify specific cognitive deficits and determine appropriate interventions.
  5. Neuropsychological Testing: The test provides a detailed evaluation of cognitive functions, such as memory, attention, language, and executive functioning.


  Trail Making Copy Cube Clock Drawing
BEFORE 3 1. Treatment Before Trail Making 4 1. Treatment Before Copy Cube 5 1. Treatment Before Clock Drawing
AFTER 3 2. Treatment After Trail Making 4 2. Treatment After Copy Cube 5 2. Treatment After Clock Drawing

Mild cognitive impairment is an active area of research. Clinical treatments are being conducted to understand the disorder better and find treatments that may improve symptoms or prevent or delay dementia.

  • Restorative Techniques: Restorative techniques focus on improving specific cognitive functions that have been impaired.
Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure: a widely used neuropsychological test for the evaluation of visuospatial constructional ability and visual memory
Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure: a widely used neuropsychological test for the evaluation of visuospatial constructional ability and visual memory
  • Repetitive Practice: This involves repetitive practice of cognitive tasks, including memory exercises, attention training, and problem-solving tasks, to stimulate neuroplasticity and enhance cognitive function.
  • Cognitive Exercises: These exercises target specific cognitive functions, such as memory, attention, or executive functioning. They promote neuroplasticity and cognitive improvement.
  • Compensatory Strategies: Compensatory strategies aim to help individuals adapt to cognitive limitations by using aids and modifications.
  • Environmental Modifications: Involve simplifying tasks, organizing living spaces, and creating routines to support cognitive function.
Computer-Assisted Cognitive Rehabilitation (CACR)
Computer-Assisted Cognitive Rehabilitation (CACR)
  • Computer-Assisted Cognitive Rehabilitation (CACR): Computer-assisted cognitive rehabilitation (CACR) involves using computer software for repetitive cognitive exercises. Provide immediate feedback on performance, promoting active engagement and cognitive improvement
  • Other Common Condition Strategy: your breathing stops and starts several times while you’re asleep, interfering with a good night’s rest. Sleep apnea can make you feel exhausted during the day, forgetful, and unable to focus. Treatment can improve these symptoms and make you more alert during the day.


Supporting Patients and Caregivers

7. Supporting Patients and Caregivers
  • We offer ongoing support and education for patients and caregivers, recognizing the importance of a supportive environment in promoting cognitive recovery.
  • Provide a support network for individuals undergoing cognitive rehabilitation and their caregivers.
  • Offer a safe space to share experiences, discuss challenges, and receive encouragement and motivation.
  • Provide opportunities for social engagement and peer support, which are crucial for emotional well-being and cognitive health.


At Korehab Clinic in Dubai, we focus on enhancing cognitive function using proven therapies and innovative technologies. Our approach to cognitive rehabilitation is thorough, personalized, and aimed at improving the quality of life for people with cognitive impairments. To learn more or to speak with our specialists, please contact us below.

Mr Dong Wook Lee | Korehab Clinic

Team Leader (OT, DOT)

USA, Univ. of Southern California, Sensory Integration Program Course CE1, CE2, and CE3
UK, Royal College, Assessment of Motor and Processing Skills Course and Certified Provider
Italy, International Neurocognitive Rehabilitation Basic / Advance Course
USA, Georgia Tech University, Information Communication Technology Accessibility
Germany, Ottobock, Statics and Dynamic Splints Course
Specialized Training Course for Dysphagia Treatment
International Vital Stim Therapy Provider Course
Korea, KSHT, Hand Splinting Nerve Compression / Biomechanics Course
BOBATH Courses for Neurological Disorder
International Occupational Therapy Intervention Process Model Course
Member of British Association of Occupational Therapist (UK)


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  • Guariglia, C., et al. (2019). The Rehabilitation of Executive Functions in the Neuropsychological Treatment of Mild Cognitive Impairment: An Updated Overview. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 11, 109.
  • Hohlen, M. E., & Reuter, L. (2021). Cognitive Rehabilitation in Neurological Disorders: Insights from Recent Studies. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 31(6), 923-937.
  • Mateer, C. A., & Kerns, K. A. (2017). Cognitive Rehabilitation in Children: A Guide to Individualized Treatment. Journal of Pediatric Neuropsychology, 3(1), 1-14.
  • Ribeiro, F., et al. (2021). Cognitive Impairment in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease: The Role of Cognitive Rehabilitation. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports, 5, 237-249.
  • Rose, F. D., et al. (2018). Virtual Reality in Cognitive and Motor Rehabilitation: Facts, Fiction, and Fallacies. Expert Review of Medical Devices, 15(2), 107-117.
  • Spikman, J. M., et al. (2020). Cognitive Rehabilitation After Stroke: Current Approaches and Future Directions. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 30(7), 1251-1274.