Basic Issues in Rehabilitation of the Brain Damaged Definitions Because of the vagueness surrounding the term brain damage, it is nec- essary at the outset to define the population to which this book may have some application. Although it is usual to speak of the brain- damaged patient in a general way, the conditions referred to cover a variety of specific disorders. In this book we will be discussing only individuals who become brain-damaged as adults. We will be ad- dressing ourselves specifically to adults who have sustained demon- strable, structural brain damage. Those conditions in which brain dys- function is a possible etiological agent, such as a number of functional psychiatric disorders, will t be considered. Thus the entire topic of mental retardation and early life brain damage will t be treated here, r the many problems associated with minimal brain damage syn- dromes in school age children. Modern psychiatric thinking has tended to blur the distinction between the so-called functional and organic disorders (d. Shagass, Gershon, & Friedhoff, 1977), but we would ad- here to the view that the patient with structural brain damage contin- ues to present relatively unique assessment and treatment problems. Furthermore, the emphasis of this book will be placed on individ- uals with nprogressive, chronic brain damage.