Thursday, March 6, 2014

Anosognosia and Brain Injuries, 3

Anosognosia, a deficit of self-awareness, can be defined as a condition in which a person who suffers specific disabilities appears to be unaware of his or her disability. The word itself comes from two Greek words:  noso meaning disease and gnosis meaning knowledge. The prefix “a” indicates a lack of. Since its discovery in about 1914 by neurologist Joseph Babinski (and some of you will be familiar with his last name), there hasn’t been a great deal of additional information added to the body of knowledge. Those of you who wrote to say “it’s not just limited to brains dealing with dementia,” are correct. It is relatively common following many types of brain injuries. According to Wikipedia, “Anosognosia is relatively common following different etiologies of brain injury, such as stroke and traumatic brain injury (e.g. 10%–18% in the case of anosognosia for hemiparesis with onset of acute stroke), but can appear to occur in conjunction with virtually any neurological impairment.

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