Rehabilitating the Brain - How Does it work? - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: Rehabilitating the Brain - How Does it Work?

A new cognitive rehabilitation program is helping patients who have undergone a serious brain event, or suffered a stroke, start working on building back their skills. Cathy D'Auria, an occupational therapist at Martha Jefferson Hospital, says the brain can be healed.  

"Research has shown that the more engaged and the more the brain is stimulated, the better the recovery," she stated.

As part of the program, patients do just that.  After meeting with their speech or occupational therapist for an hour, they then spend several more hours with a technician continuing to re-train their brain.  

"We'll do some financial organization and planning, so it's functional for them if they have to go home and manage and take care of their bills," said Megan Vito, a speech therapist at the Martha Jefferson Neuroscience Center.  

Map reading, working with applications on the iPhone and maneuvering on the Wii are also popular exercises.  

"If they weren't here, in the clinic, then it's possible they'd be home, watching television, not doing anything to really stimulate that plasticity of the brain to regenerate itself," commented D'Auria.  

Instead, thanks to this new program, patients can strengthen their skills and get back into their routine.  

"I think it has built their self esteem because they know that we're there for them for support," said Vito.  "It's also beneficial there are other people involved, so they have peer support, and the caregivers feel supported too. I definitely think the program has a positive impact."  

For more information on this topic, call Health Connection (434) 654-7009.  

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