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Resource Articles

INSneuro General information Handout

07562 663445

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.

  • Cognitive problems.

  • Feelings of anxiety, depression, loss of identity or low self-esteem.

  • Fatigue management

  • 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


Phone consultations

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



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

  • things

  • Being able to follow a story in a book over a period of time

  • Being able to stop your thoughts from wandering


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

such as:

  • Not getting enough sleep or having disturbed sleep

  • Depression or anxiety

  • Medication side effects

  • Stress

  • Working in a noisy or cluttered environment



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

  • increase this.

  • 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

  • has drifted.

  • Plan shorter activities.

  • Alternate doing activities of high interest and low interest.

  • Allow yourself more than enough time to complete a task

  • Take notes