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For years the doctrine of neuroscientists has been that the brain is a machine: break a part and you lose that function permanently. But more and more evidence is turning up to show that the brain can rewire itself, even in the face of catastrophic trauma: essentially, the functions of the brain can be strengthened just like a weak muscle.

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Brain Plasticity and Recovery From Stroke


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3/23/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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As a follow up to my blog post of yesterday, "Stroke is a Major Factor in Nursing Home Admissions", a good friend of mine, Sheffield Boardman, MD, suggested that I obtain a book on Brain Plasticity by Norman Doidge, MD"The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science".  A reviewer of the book reports: "For years the doctrine of neuroscientists has been that the brain is a machine; break a part and you lose that function permanently. But more and more evidence is turning up to show that the brain can rewire itself, even in the face of catastrophic trauma; essentially, the functions of the brain can be strengthened just like a weak muscle." There are many other favorable reviews of this book on the web. For those who have a loved one who is recovering from a stroke, as I do, this appears to be a must-read book.

PS  In a presentation given at Melbourne, Australia, Dr. Doidge discussed his research and relaid strange and fascinating stories of the workings of the brain. A video of the presentation is on YouTube, in three parts, begining at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJxASN-_WtU&feature=related. "The discovery of neuroplasticity, that our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains, even into old age, is the most important breakthrough in our understanding of the brain in four hundred years."

Category: Memory Loss / Alzheimer's Disease / Dementia / Stroke


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