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The Relation of the Frontal Lobe to Personality Changes

In 1987, Dr. John Doe's father suffered a heart attack. He never lost consciousness but immediately needed quadruple bypass surgery. Through the help of anesthesia, he was put under for a long period of time as the major arteries were repaired. The surgery was a success but he seemed to change in regards to personality. Where he previously was laid-back, jovial, and empathic, he became Type A, cynical, and quick to find faults with others. This new pattern of behavior continued for the rest of his life.

What could have been happening in this situation? What might have occurred at the time he had his heart attack or during the surgery?

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John Doe may well have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress. Depression is another after affect of both heart attacks and open heart surgery. Slobodan Ilić, Svetlana Apostolović have argued that there is a close connection between mental illness and heart problems. They argue that, after a heart attack, several things occur. First, depression can set in due to fears of mortality and the fact of one's dependence. Some patients project their frustration by getting hostile with those around them. In some cases, denial of the problem is another defense mechanism. The fact is that psychological changes often accompany the recovery from open heart surgery (Ilic, 2002).

There are three possible causes for brain damage during major heart surgery. First of all, the body temperature of the patient is lowered during surgery. Some ...

Solution Summary

The relation of the Frontal Lobe to personality changes are examined.