Physician is able to regain cognitive functioning after brain surgery, goes back to work full time

Age: 45
Gender: Female
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

As a busy, successful physician, this woman from Boston had been increasingly frustrated trying to manage her life at work and at home. Her problems were caused by brain surgery to remove a tumor. She used to be able to manage her busy schedule just fine, but she had experienced reduced cognitive functioning after the surgery resulting in difficulties with attention and organization. In the two years since the surgery, her reduced functioning proved to be a major impairment as she struggled to maintain her former levels of productivity.

She was often forgetful as she went about everyday activities and had difficulty multi-tasking, such as taking notes during an office visit with a patient. She also struggled with poor time management, often forgetting her schedule and missing appointments. Social interactions were exhausting because she had trouble keeping track of the conversations and paperwork was quickly piling up as she struggled to remain organized. Eventually, she was forced to reduce her hours at work because she could no longer keep up with the workload she had prior to surgery.

When she decided to do Cogmed training, she was excited that it might help rehabilitate her brain. Even though it wasn’t easy to fit in the training with her busy life, she kept a positive attitude because she believed it would help her.
She stuck to the program and made steady gains. Six weeks after starting Cogmed, she noticed that she could get more things done. She was able to initiate projects that she had felt unable to get going on, like paperwork and filing. She noticed that social interactions were not as confusing or draining, and she became much less forgetful in everyday activities.

Cogmed training had a significant impact in her daily life. She says that she has more energy than before explaining that, because of her improved attention/concentration, everything takes less mental energy and her day is less exhausting.
She now is once again staying on top of her responsibilities and getting things done. Where paper work was piling up at work and books/papers/projects were piling up at home, she is managing the current workload, and has been steadily working through the backlog that accumulated over the last two years. She is also able to keep track of her schedule and no longer misses appointments.

All in all, she describes herself as “ecstatic” with the results she has seen from doing Cogmed. She is back to working the same number of hours as before her surgery – she feels more energetic, she is getting things done, and she remembers things better. She even claims that her time management abilities are better than they were before her brain surgery.

Key challenges:

  • Experienced reduced cognitive functioning following brain surgery
  • As a physician, had difficulty concentrating and staying organized
  • Felt overwhelmed in social situations – had trouble keeping track of conversations
  • Was often exhausted from struggling to stay on task and focused
  • Experienced poor time management – often forgot her schedule and missed appointments
  • Became disorganized with paperwork/projects piling up at work and at home
  • Could not keep up with her workload
  • Was forced to cut her hours at work

Training outcomes:

  • Significantly increased working memory
  • Was able to initiate projects and see them to completion
  • Is no longer forgetful – much more organized
  • Has more energy – does not feel taxed or overworked
  • No longer gets lost in conversations
  • Is on top of her current paperwork and working through the backlog
  • Can keep track of her schedule and no longer misses appointments
  • Says her time management skills are better than they were before her surgery
  • Is now back to working full time and managing her former workload
*Photos above are not of the actual users whose experience we describe – we understand that poor working memory
is often a hidden weakness that impacts people in a very personal way.
Out of respect for their privacy, we have kept the identities of these people anonymous.