Updated: Feb 10
WHAT IS BRAIN PLASTICITY?
Brain plasticity is basically the term used to describe how the brain rather portions of it (Such as the synapses and neural pathways )changes throughout the average human life span as a result of being exposed to changes in one's environment ,emotion and behavior. In sum, some of most groundbreaking discoveries uncovered over the course of studying brain plasticity include the following: 1.) Brain plasticity has shown that the human brain is able to repair itself after""being exposed to a considerable amount of damage.
2.) Even basic activities or states of being (such as sleeping or waking up as well as any sort of action) effects how the brain perceives and processes certain things.
3) The human brain can form new pathways and connections within itself as well as strengthen existing ones in order to compensate for a loss of function (as in the case of the human brain being better""equipped to process sounds and other auditory input when the sense of sight is loss or impaired).
4) There are certain parts of the brain that can expand or develop more frequently they are used. For instance, taxi drivers have been known to have larger hippocampi than the average human. Since the hippocampus is the part of the brain associated with one’s spatial memory, it’s only natural that taxi drivers, who often have to sharpen and rely upon"
RELATION BETWEEN EXERCISES & NEURO-PLASTICITY OF A STROKE PATIENT
The damage inflicted by a stroke is unique to every patient, and so the recovery process also vary individual. It is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. The brain uses 100 trillion neural connections or pathways to retrieve and store information. When a stroke occurs, any combination of those 100 trillion connections could be impacted. The brain and the central nervous system can identify environmental, behavioral, and neural damage, but they need assistance and stimulation to change or adapt. That’s where therapists and stroke survivors play a vital role. A variety of exercises and movements can be used to provide cues to the brain. Those cues direct the brain on how to rewire and adapt, creating new neural pathways that can work around any brain damage and alleviate or compensate for physical and mental deficits. This means that the brain is essentially reprogramming itself in undamaged areas to support damaged ones, and the sooner this activity begins, the sooner one can recover . To enhance this process, proper execution of rehabilitation exercises—both mental and physical—must be carried out on a regular basis. Over time, consistent and repetitive efforts will aid in constructing healthy neural connections, as well strengthening damaged ones.
we look to the research published by Kleim & Jones that outlines the 10 principles of experience-dependent neuroplasticity.
Use it or lose it :The skills we don’t practice often get weaker.
Use it and improve it :The skills we practice get better.
Specificity :we must skillfully practice the exact tasks we want to improve.
Repetition matters we must do a task over and over again once we’ve got it right to actually change the brain.
Intensity matters :more repetitions in a shorter time are necessary for creating new connections.
Time matters :Neuroplasticity is a process rather than a single event, with windows of opportunity opening for different skills at different times.
In rehabilitation, starting earlier is usually better than starting later.
Regrettably, there are some people who are exploiting the term neuroplasticity to give brain injury survivors false hope that they can get better with unproven treatments that require little to no effort. If the therapy does not have you directly practicing the skill it claims to improve, please be cautious. There are no quick-fixes (remember: intensity and repetition matter), and there is no one-size-fits-all solution (remember: specificity and relevance matter).
In practice, many rehabilitation centers continue to provide traditional compensatory rehabilitation training while many others are practicing newer, "task-oriented" approaches. A few centers are incorporating new technology, such as computer-based training devices or robotics, into rehabilitation care. This transition is happening because neuroscientific research has shown that neuroplastic changes in the cerebral cortex and in other parts of the central nervous system (CNS) are necessarily linked to motor skill retraining in the affected limbs. Task-oriented training that focuses on the practice of skilled motor performance is the critical link to facilitating neural reorganization and "rewiring" in the CNS.