I was amazed when I first saw the list of problems related to the prefrontal cortex (pfc): short attention span, distractibility, lack of perseverance, impulse control problems, hyperactivity, chronic laziness and poor time management, disorganization, procrastination, unavailability of emotions, misperceptions, poor judgment, trouble learning from experience, short-term memory problems, and social and test anxiety. As with the other brain areas, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Dr. Daniel Amen contains a prefrontal cortex checklist for determining the probability of having pfc-oriented problems. The checklist is found on page 132 as well as on the website http://www.amenclinics.com .

The first solution Dr. Amen discusses is the One Page Miracle (OPM) which consists of having the client list their goals so they can focus on what they wish to accomplish. He encourages clients to use goals they can focus on daily. They should focus on relationships, work, money and self improvement and read it every morning to get focused for the day.

Other suggested solutions include having the person focus on what they want rather than what they don’t want; having meaning, purpose and stimulation in their lives; getting organized, with help if necessary; brain-wave biofeedback training; audiovisual stimulation; conflict avoidance; and prefrontal cortex medications. He lists several medications. I recommend checking them out on page 146. Nutrition also plays a part as does music, specifically listening to Mozart – 70 % of one test group maintained improvement in their ADD for six months after such a program.

My personal opinion is that injuries to the prefrontal cortex cause problems which affect us socially, more so than other problem areas. I believe that this is because the resulting poor judgment, unavailability of emotions, trouble learning from experience and social anxiety are reflected in our behavior with others, friends as well as families. While the problem is from the pfc, there is no apparent outward sign that the injured person is truly injured. The net result is that the person with pfc problems is labeled as antisocial and judged as morally and/or ethically bankrupt because friend and family members assume that the behavior is based on moral and ethical choices. They (we) are unable to see the proper diagnosis. This in turn causes us to make negative judgments about them. Worst of all, it renders us unable to help. Next blog: The Cingulate System