Did you know that you can teach the non-damaged part of your brain to do with the damaged part used to do before you had a stroke or brain injury such as a concussion? This is called neurological remapping or neurological remodeling.
After a traumatic or acquired brain injury, different functionalities are lost depending on which part of the brain was affected. Sometimes this results in a hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body) or a more severe hemiplegia (complete paralysis of one side of the body). Other areas that can be affected include swallowing, speaking, as well as eye teaming and eye tracking.
When the parts of the brain that involve vision are affected, everything from the ability to read, walk in a straight line, drive, depth perception and balance can all be impaired since vision guides the body. It can also result in double vision, and a hemianopsia which is the complete loss of side vision.
The goal of rehabilitation is to help our patients regain independence by regaining the ability to perform ADLs (activities of daily living). Starting therapy early improves the eventual outcome of your recovery. Each skill set requires a different type of therapy including Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Vision Therapy.
I co-founded a rehabilitation vision clinic at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center in 1995 in the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R). In 2016 we partnered with UCLA and the Select Medical Corporation to form California Rehabilitation Institute which is the largest inpatient rehabilitation hospital on the West Coast.
We can help patients regain their ability use their vision to walk, balance, read, and not see double. I will describe how in future posts. Stay tuned if you, or a loved one have suffered from a brain injury from a stroke or car accident.