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Murray Hynd Murray at kainet.demon.co.uk
Wed Jan 3 11:53:11 EST 1996

Greetings one and all, 

First of all, Happy New Year.  This message is a request for information
about post-operative recovery on stroke patients.  


In essence, last June
my wife Jackie suffered a massive stroke resulting in lost of speech and 
paralysis of the right side.  An emergency biopsy removed the clot, also 
revealing the cause of the haemorrhage, an AVM (arterio-venus malformation).
The surgeon considered her lucky to survive, as the haemorrhage blanked out 
one third of her brain on the CT scan.  He also said that the AVM had probably 
been there since birth, therefore it was a timebomb with an indeterminate timer.
The surgeon and his team removed what they could see of the AVM, and if there
was any remaining could be either zapped with radiosurgery (gamma knife, or,
linear accelerator) or blocked by embolisation [linear accelerator chosen, 
done just after Xmas]. 

Jackie up to that point had been very active, balanced diet, non-smoker,
occasional glass of wine, and lived a relatively stress-free life (current
age of 34 years). Her recovery so far has been thus :-

   1.  voice has returned 60% +
   2.  walking ability/right leg 50%
   3.  right foot manipulation 10%
   4.  right arm, very little controlled movement

She is continuing rehabilitation with therapists every week, although the 
rate of progress is beginning to plateau.


Here in England, the terrestrial TV channels (4) have a habit of broadcasting
programmes which focus on technological advances, and of late quite a few
episodes focusing on medicine: live coverage of a man being operated on with  
thermal lance (?) which was inserted into his brain and it did the job of
reducing shaking hands due to Parkisons Disease, another showed a British 
Army trainer who was in a accident whilst giving instruction to troops: 
good portion of his brain blown away; long hard road to recovery after massive 
surgery - filmed climbing a 12,000+ ft mountain with help.  The program of 
most interest was of research being done in Germany where patients with some 
kind of seizures were subjected to exercises using computer graphics 
(concentrating on tracking objects on a screen) - resulted in reduction of 
the seizures.  


It seems that the brain can re-map some (or maybe all) of its functions
from historical (ie. by default / from birth ...) areas which I will refer
to as 'normal' to other areas when the normal areas become affected.  How
this is done, or how it can be promoted I do not know. 

I want to know if any research has been done, or is being done currently
to help promote re-mapping of the brain to cater for lost faculties due to
rain disorders.

Thank you for your interest. 

Yours sincerely,

Murray & Jackie Hynd

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