Rehabilitation of sensory and cognitive functions typically involve methods for retraining neural pathways or training new neural pathways to regain or improve neurocognitive functioning that had been diminished by disease or trauma. Three common neuropsychological problems treatable with rehabilitation are attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), concussion, and spinal cord injury.
Rehabilitation research and practices are a fertile area for clinical neuropsychologists, rehabilitation psychologists, and others.
Speech therapy, occupational therapy, and other methods that "exercise" specific brain functions are used. For example, eye–hand coordination exercises may rehabilitate certain motor deficits, or well structured planning and organizing exercises might help rehabilitate executive functions, following a traumatic blow to the head.
Brain functions that are impaired because of traumatic brain injuries are often the most challenging and difficult to rehabilitate. Much work is being done in nerve regeneration for the most severely damaged neural pathways.
Neurocognitive techniques, such as cognitive rehabilitation therapy, provide assessment and treatment of cognitive impairments from a variety of brain diseases and insults (electrical events) that cause persistent disability for many individuals. Such disabilities result in a loss of independence, a disruption in normal childhood activities and social relationships, loss in school attendance, and educational and employment opportunities. Injuries or insults that may benefit from neurocognitive rehabilitation include traumatic and acquired brain injuries (such as stroke, concussion, neurosurgery, etc.), cranial radiation, intrathecal chemotherapy and neurological disorders, such as ADHD.
The rehabilitation targets the cognitive functions such as attention, memory, and executive function (organization, planning, time management, etc.). Programs are developed to address an individual's challenges after a baseline assessment of abilities and challenges.