Traumatic Brain Injury
For anyone who’s had a stroke or brain injury, relatively little formal rehab is offered once about 2 years post stroke. Typically, it may be more physical therapy or speech therapy, or even occupational therapy. But often, the big gains are expected in the first 2 years, and very minor slow gains occur after that.
Many people continue to improve incrementally after 18 months, but there are few formal rehab programs that make a big difference. The health profession has accepted the idea that the greatest recovery occurs in the first 18 -24 months. They don’t even bother offering patients other options.
Neurofeedback as an 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.
The technology is now there to do that – and that’s what neurofeedback provides. It helps the individual in fact exercise the brain directly. Training targets specific parts of the brain, based on the individual profile of each client.
Let’s take speech for example. If there’s a problem with speech, speech therapy is attempting to teach the person to learn how to speak again.
Neurofeedback tends to target training specific areas of the brain that relate to speech (for example, Broca’s or Wernicke’s area). The goal is to strengthen the area and associated areas that are responsible for speech. Because of the amount of speech recovery that can occur with neurofeedback, some neuropsychologists feel the brain there is actual rehab occurring in the brain – and that it’s not just dealing with compensating areas.
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 are regulated by the brain.