Stroke Brain

A revolution is going on. The old belief that the adult brain is incapable of change has been overturned by a mountain of evidence. That research has helped create new therapies, giving hope to stroke victims with serious disabilities. It has also provided hope to all of us with less challenging obstacles to overcome.

Every year more than 600,000 Americans suffer a stroke. Of those 160,000 die immediately. 110,000 recover or have mild afflictions. At least 300,000, or one half of all stroke victims, are left seriously disabled. Until recently it was believed little could be done for patients who had not recovered within the first year.

Often a brain stroke will immobilize the body on the side opposite of the location of the stroke. A stroke in the left hemisphere of the brain might disable the right arm while the same stroke in the right hemisphere will affect the left arm. The conventional treatment for these patients has been to develop skillful use of the unaffected arm and rely on family members and caregivers. However research using adult monkeys began suggesting a different approach. The monkeys had interrupted sensory fibers that were normally connected to one arm. By constraining the unaffected arm and encouraging any movement the monkeys could muster in the affected arm, they were successfully taught to use the unfeeling arm. Use could be restored in spite of the disconnect. When the monkey brains were scanned the scientists discovered that the location in the brain that received input from the unaffected limb had begun working to help the impaired mirror location.

At first the scientific and therapeutic communities dismissed the findings. It took several other studies to confirm the conclusions before trials with human stroke victims were funded. With humans the unaffected arm is placed in a sling while the patient applies focused mental effort to gradually begin moving the paralyzed arm. Brain scans have shown the same remapping that occurred with the monkeys.

All this research demonstrates that adult brains remain plastic throughout life. Neuroplasticity is not confined to children and adolescents.

You and I may not be recovering from a stroke, but anyone can use systematic techniques including deep mindfulness meditation and directed mental force to unlock more brain power and overcome the anxieties and mental blocks that prevent us from realizing our potential. Teaching you how do that is exactly what the Complete EM Mind Power Training Program is all about.

©2015-2024 Emergent Meditation


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