[Neuroscience] Re: mild brain injury

John H. via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by j_hasenkam At yahoo.com.au)
Sun Nov 12 07:04:04 EST 2006

Given the lack of rehab the idea of creating your own rehab routine
seems obvious but there are some risks:

Rehab has extensive experience and knows how to get the best recovery.
Rehab knows what things can do harm.
Rehab can set realistic expectations and objetively measure

Any self created regime needs to take these things into account. For
example, any memory training must be, initially at least, of very short
duration. It must not be a stressful experience though a minimum of
stress will certainly help consolidate memory function. Sustained and
significant stress however can create all sorts of problems, not least
of being cessation of neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, which feed new
neurons directly into the hippocampus, a key memory encoding region of
the brain.

Timing is important, best choose training at a time most suitable for
the patient, typically when at their most alert during the day. Larks
and owls type of thing.

It will not be possible to set an objective measure but if there is any
signficant improvement you won't need that, this improvement will
become obvious in her day to day functioning. This reminds me of a
study a few years ago wherein it was established that the best rehab
procedures were those that most closely mimicked the activities of
daily life. So any "training" you seek to undertake should mimic the
day to day duties required. Hence in this particular case it may pay to
think about turning the whole day to day duty regime as a training
exercise, as you would a trainee but at a much more intense level.
Focus not improvement in specific tasks one a time, then moving onto
the next. Trying to train across many tasks simultaneously is less
likely to provide good results.

This is a very difficult choice that would require lots of reading and
thinking. Such time may be better spent in finding a way to achieve
rehab at the hospital.

Colin you may also want to consider that your wife is suffering from
depression. This is common with traumatic injury and needs to be
addressed. As research has indicated in animals and it is probably true
in humans, antidepressant drugs can initiate neurogenesis. However
recovery from depression itself can do the same. If there is
depression, treat it, drugs or otherwise. I suggest in the first
instance, otherwise. If the depression is major drug treatment is

ligbray wrote:
> when so many specialists return such little result, i would give it a try
> myself:
> ask her to remember a "thing" (= a word that meant a lot to her in her good
> days, e.g. embroydery [needle, stich], gardening [flower, seed])
> ask a two seconds later what word 'thing' was
> gradually extend the time gap, see how far you can go
> play with the use of pictures, places, sounds, smells, taste to stimulate
> the memory
> make sure to reward every correct result

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