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What Are Symptoms of Parietal Lobe Injury?

The areas of the brain, including the parietal lobe.
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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 13 April 2014
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A parietal lobe injury can affect both sensory function and perception, with the precise symptoms varying greatly depending on the extent of the brain damage as well as the type of injury sustained. Some of the most common symptoms of this type of injury include a loss of coordination and an inability to process sensory information, such as temperature and touch. In more severe cases, the patient may be partially or completely unaware of his own body. Basic skills, such as reading, writing, and math, may be diminished.

As is the case with any type of traumatic brain injury, damage to the parietal lobe of the brain will never affect two people in exactly the same ways. This area of the brain is responsible for sensory awareness, perception, and processing sensory input, particularly in relation to the eyes. A parietal lobe injury can cause problems with any or all of these processes. Symptoms also depend heavily on the side of the brain that is damaged, as each side is responsible for different functions.

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An injury in the right side of the parietal lobe may cause an individual to neglect parts of the body. This may have dramatic effects on basic skills, such as bathing, dressing, or feeding oneself. The effects of damage to this area may also result in a loss of the ability to make things, a disorder known as constructional apraxia. The ability to draw may be lost, or the patient may even be in denial that any deficits exist, even when the limitations are easily noticed by others.

A left-sided parietal lobe injury often includes confusion over right and left directional signs. Writing and math skills may sometimes be reduced or completely lost, depending on the extent of the damage. Perception and the ability to speak are sometimes affected.

If both sides of this lobe are damaged, the resulting injury is known as a bilateral injury. This frequently leads to a condition known as Balint's syndrome, which affects the motor skills as well as visual attention capabilities. The patient may not be able to control the direction of his gaze, a symptom known as ocular apraxia. In some cases, memory issues or personality changes may develop well.

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Discuss this Article

burcinc
Post 3

@feruze-- Do you remember what other symptoms your grandmother had?

My dad had a stroke last year which damaged his left parietal lobe. We knew something was wrong when he couldn't name his index finger and he couldn't add small numbers together. He wasn't able to do dress himself either, but my mom thought that he just wanted to be taken care of and so she was doing everything for him.

When we took him to the neurologist, he did some simple tests and also noticed that my dad couldn't follow his directions and had also developed dyslexia. The doctor had him get an MRI for diagnosis although he knew that it was an injury to the left perietal lobe. All the symptoms were pointing in that direction.

My dad is now in rehabilitation. He is better on some days than others.

bear78
Post 2
@alisha-- My grandmother had Alzheimer's too, and as far as I know, Alzheimer's results in damage to various parts of the brain, including the parietal lobe. So in this sense, the symptoms are very similar or same, if that person is suffering from an injury to the parietal lobe and not elsewhere.

Alzheimer's is diagnosed based on the symptoms but an injury affecting parietal lobe function is diagnosed by a brain scan. Doctors will be able to identify cell death in that lobe of the brain in the scan. And an Alzheimer's diagnosis is usually supplemented with this diagnosis.

It does sound like your grandfather might be suffering from an injury to a different part of the brain. Because those who have Alzheimer's and parietal lobe injury will have symptoms like not being able to tell what an object is. My grandmother, for example, used to think that the person on TV was actually in the room with us. Her sensory information was completely disoriented.

discographer
Post 1

Is parietal lobe injury something that is diagnosed purely based on symptoms?

Is it possible to misdiagnose this condition as something else or the other way around?

The reason I ask is because my grandfather was said to have Alzheimer's by his doctor several months ago. He suddenly started having trouble remembering things and my grandmother told me over the phone that he was acting very differently and strangely, as if he was not himself.

He had another appointment with his neurologist last week and now he has said that this might not be Alzheimer's but parietal lobe injury. We're so confused! Which symptoms differentiate parietal lobe brain injury from Alzheimer's?

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