Basic and Applied Memory Research: Practical Applications - Vol. 2

By Douglas J. Herrmann; Cathy McEvoy et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE Multimodal Memory Rehabilitation for the Toxic Solvent Injured Population

Miriam Schooler Bendiksen Ivan Bendiksen Sandefjord, Norway

Although there is increasing recognition within the scientific community that exposure to toxic organic solvents causes chronic neuropsychological impairment, there has been little focus on the cognitive rehabilitation of the toxic solvent injured population, referred to as TE. The clinical picture presented by TE is diffuse, but it most often includes memory problems, loss of concentration, irritability, anxiety, depression, sleep and appetite problems, as well as disturbances in olfaction, skin problems, hyper/hypotension, and respiratory ailments.

The TE population, often industrial workers who have spent many years on the job, experience malfunctioning on such a level that their quality of life is substantially reduced. It should be a challenge for clinical practitioners and researchers to find a rehabilitation strategy that meets the needs of this TE population and enhances their psychosocial well being and cognitive functioning. In an intervention study for TE workers, Bendiksen and Bendiksen ( 1992), utilized a multimodal approach that showed promising results. With a focus on the memory impairment found in the TE population, this chapter reviews the multimodal approach for memory improvement. Theoretical considerations are discussed and intervention strategies are reviewed.


COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT FROM ORGANIC SOLVENT EXPOSURE

High acute exposure to organic solvents has long been known to give short-term euphoric effects. The effects of long-term, lower-level exposure to a variety of substances, especially in the workplace, have been slower to reach

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