Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury
Until recently anyone who had had a stroke or brain injury more than two years before had few options for getting much better, since gains are minor and slow with conventional rehabilitation.
There Are Other Options
That’s all changed now with neurofeedback, which turns on its head the belief that progress is pretty much stopped in its tracks at the two-year point.
This short interview with one of our clients shows the power that neurofeedback can have in people’s lives, even many years after a brain injury occurs. April had suffered debilitating symptoms for over nine years since an illness left her with a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). After just six weeks of neurofeedback, she experienced significant improvement.
A Major New Intervention for Strokes and TBI
If your hurt your knee, you do physical therapy on your knees.
If your hurt your brain, you should do physical therapy directly on your brain.
And yes, neurofeedback technology actually can do that. Neurofeedback helps people exercise their brains and targets specific parts of the brain, based on the individual profile and needs of each client.
Let’s take a problem with speech, for example. Neurofeedback is able target its training to specific areas of the brain that relate to speech (for example, Broca’s area or Wernicke’s area). The goal is to strengthen those areas that are responsible for speech. Because of the amount of speech recovery that can occur with neurofeedback, some neuropsychologists feel actual rehab is occurring in the brain, that it’s not just a version of compensation.
A case in point about brain rehabilitation – a therapist presented at a conference that one of her stroke patients started opening her left hand and using it around the 10th neurofeedback training session. This woman’s hand had been completely clenched and unusable since the stroke three years earlier. Why would neurofeedback affect that? The training occurred near the motor strip of the brain – which impacts the control of muscles and muscle tone. As a result of the training, those motor circuits reorganized – and in this patient’s case, it helped her significantly improve the motor function of the left hand.
It’s not always possible to predict the level of recovery that can be achieved in the case of a stroke or TBI. That depends on many factors. However, after hundreds of cases by clinicians using neurofeedback with stroke patients, it’s clear most people can achieve significantly greater recovery than would be expected with conventional therapy
Dr. Tanju Surmeli, a psychiatrist world-renowned for his research in neurofeedback and psychological disorders, weighs in on the role of neurofeedback for a head injury or trauma that may cause bi-polar-like symptoms, in an interview with Mike Cohen, Director of Center for Brain.
Listen to the audio clip: Dr. Surmeli on Bipolar Symptoms and Post-Concussive Syndrome
Getting a picture of the brain, called a brain map , is often recommended for stroke and TBI patients. Center for Brain offers brain maps to help look at which areas of the brain should be targeted for training.
Symptom improvement ranges from speech to movement to mood regulation to memory to control of behavior. Headaches are often reduced. Remember, each of these functions is regulated by the brain.
One speech therapist who works with stroke and TBI patients added neurofeedback to a hospital-based program. In an interview, she reported making more progress in improving speech with patients using neurofeedback in one year than in her previous 10 years cumulatively. She noted that it makes a big difference to train the brain directly.
Please call us at Center for Brain at 561-744-7616 to find out more about how we can help your situation.