Thursday, September 6, 2012

Simple. Brain. Recovery. Game.

Stroke recovery involves neuroplasticity. You can slice it and you can dice it but the bottom line always comes back to stroke as brain injury -- and how to overcome it. If you can't get the brain to reorganize around the injury, recovery is toast.

• Spasticity: caused by brain damage.

• Inability to feel the movement: caused by brain damage.

• Unilateral neglect (decreased attention to the “bad” side): caused by brain damage.

• Lack of control over the affected arm and leg: caused by brain damage.

• Aphasia: caused by brain damage

• Vision problems: caused by brain damage

• And much more!: caused by brain damage

So the answer to the question “… how might movement problems be overcome?” is simple: Rewire your brain.

And it is good that it is simple because only the stroke survivor can do it. A therapist could have a double major physical and occupational therapist PhD from Harvard school of Super Duper Rehab summa cum laude with postdoctoral training as a Rhodes Scholar and they still can't do it for you. You know the old Smokey the Bear poster: "Only you can prevent forest fires"? For stroke survivors the poster should say: "Only you can drive neuroplastic change". Fortunately, the rules for rewiring your brain are very, very simple. Unfortunately, rewiring takes a tremendous amount of hard work.

And what does it take? Repetitive practice.
Repetitive practice is boring.
So try spicing up with a video game yay!

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Mike said...

My basal ganglia bleed gave me hemidystonia.Doesn't matter because I believe every neurological problems such as dystonia, PD, HD can be fixed by rewiring the brain.But ubfortunately people gets lazy and choose to receive surgery and injections.I chose the old school way of recovery.

Mike "Zack" Zachry said...

Great encouraging post. I'm developing an app for the iPad that has as its fundemental basis repetitive exercises and analysis of longitudinal data. Would be interested in your suggestions for exercises and games.


Elizabeth, John and Jack said...

Mine was also in the basal ganglia and surrounding area. I think a "lucky" location because neuroplasticity is "easier" there. I suspect my opposing bg picked up many of my lost functions. I think rewiring my brain was partly easier due to the location. While I still have cognitive deficits, the physical ones were mostly resolved quickly by repeating every exercise a million times....just as Peter says. I have found cognition more challenging due to lack of exercises to repeat again and again. It's more complicated.

Amy said...

Well said.

Sunil Vather said...

Repetitive exercises that exercise the brain and arms works very well. See paper:
This an affordable system that gives great results especially in the home environment.

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