INSneuro General information Handout
Oakland House, Talbot Road, Old Trafford, Manchester M16 0PQ
About the service
INSneuro is a specialist assessment and rehabilitation service for adults and young people age 16+
with a brain injury/neurological condition, their relatives, carers and involved professionals.
What do neuropsychologists do?
We help you understand the nature and impact of any changes or difficulties in cognitive skills (for
example, memory, attention and reasoning), and emotional, personality and behaviour changes
following a brain injury. We provide specialist psychological therapy, interventions and
What can we help with?
Difficulties with adjustment to a brain injury or a neurological condition.
Feelings of anxiety, depression, loss of identity or low self-esteem.
Post -Traumatic Stress symptoms
Psychological aspects of pain management
Managing and regulating difficult emotions
Work or education related stresses
Challenging Behaviour support
Parenting issues following brain injury
What do we offer?
Specialist neuropsychological assessments tailored to the needs of the Service User
Evidence based Psychological interventions for managing neuropsychological difficulties resulting
from a brain injury
Cognitive rehabilitation for memory, reasoning, concentration and other cognitive difficulties.
Positive approaches to manage cognitive or behavioural difficulties.
Strategies for coping with difficult or distressing emotions
Advice and support for families and carers
Training and consultation for professionals e.g. risk assessment and management, mental capacity
Specialist parenting programme for parenting after brain injury
Access to the service
You can access the service in a variety of ways to suit your needs including;
Face to face appointments
Contact by videocall
Email and text communication
Handouts and other written information
Referrals to the service
INSneuro accepts referrals from case managers, solicitors, health, education and social care
professionals. We also accept self-referrals in certain circumstances.
We offer a range of assessment, rehabilitation, training, consultation and therapy packages. Prices
available on enquiry.
Dr Carol Sampson
Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist
INSneuro Consulting Services: Attention Information Leaflet
ATTENTION & CONCENTRATION AFTER A BRAIN INJURY
ATTENTION DIFFICULTIES EXPLAINED AND STRATEGIES TO HELP WITH ATTENTION
What is Attention?
Attention is a complex thinking skill that allows you to maintain focus on a task or
a thought. Attention also allows you to come back to a task or a thought after you
have moved onto something else. Attention and concentration also allow you to
take in new information which is important when trying to remember things – it is
crucial to improving memory!
Why am I finding it hard to pay Attention?
After a brain injury, it is common for the ability to concentrate to be affected.
Damage to any part of the brain can have an impact on attention because different
areas are responsible for managing different types of attention such as;
Focusing on one thing whilst ignoring background noise
Being able to follow and contribute to a conversation whilst doing other
Being able to follow a story in a book over a period of time
Being able to stop your thoughts from wandering
WHAT TYPES OF ATTENTION ARE THERE?
Problems with attention and concentration may affect you in different ways, depending on which part of your brain is injured. Below is a list of attention problems which may be present after suffering a brain injury:
Arousal Problems: You may have difficulty in staying alert and awake during the
day. You may notice that you are yawning more frequently or are more likely to
fall asleep at inappropriate times. These are known as arousal problems.
Focused Attention Problems: You may notice that you find it difficult to ignore
or filter out distractions such as background noise when you are trying to focus
on one thing (watching television or having a conversation). These difficulties are
known as focused attention problems.
Sustained Attention Problems: You may find it more difficult to give your full
attention to an activity or task for a sustained period, such as when you read a
book or cook a meal. These difficulties are known as sustained attention
Divided Attention Problems: You may notice that you find it hard to focus your
attention on more than one thing at a time, such as following a conversation whilst you are cleaning up. This type of difficulty is known as a divided attention problem.
What makes attention problems worse?
There are several factors that can play a part in making attention difficulties worse
Not getting enough sleep or having disturbed sleep
Depression or anxiety
Medication side effects
Working in a noisy or cluttered environment
WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE MY ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION?
Try the following strategies to improve your arousal levels.
Pacing your activities where you allow yourself to take frequent breaks rests or
naps from activities. This way you are less likely to become fatigued.
Keep a note of how long you can pay attention to something. Try to slowly
Planning ahead and only doing highly demanding tasks at the times of day that
you feel at your best.
Change the task from time to time.
Keep active and eat healthily to increase your energy levels.
Try the following strategies to improve your focused attention.
Organise your environment so that there are as few distractions as possible, i.e.
clear clutter or making sure the radio/ television/phone is turned off when talking or reading.
Face away from the crowd in busy restaurants or shops.
Try ear plugs when reading.
Ask people to talk more slowly and clearly.
Face the person you are talking or listening to.
Try the following strategies to improve divided attention.
Plan ahead and structure tasks so they can be completed at one time.
Break the task or activity down into steps and write them in a list so you can check them off as you complete them.
Organise a list of specific tasks that should be completed at certain times (for example, put the chicken on at 2pm, wash dishes at 3pm).
Practise one activity until it becomes routine before adding another activity.
Try the following strategies to improve your sustained attention.
Practise telling your mind to “focus” when you notice your thoughts drifting.
Gradually increase the amount of time you spend on an activity.
Ask your friends and family to remind you to redirect your attention if they feel it
Plan shorter activities.
Alternate doing activities of high interest and low interest.
Allow yourself more than enough time to complete a task