Yes, yes, yes – you CAN recover from brain injury

Fire together, wire together, and create a new life

Spending time with my family was a study in contrasts, this past weekend.

On the one hand, I have relatives who are quite old, who have made it through amazing challenges and trials, and have come out on the other side with incredible strength and fortitude.

On the other hand, I have relatives who are elderly, who have been through many challenges, themselves, but they seem to have suffered, rather than gained strength. They struggle with the after-effects of life, even though their lives have not been appreciably more taxing than those of my relatives who have prevailed.

One of the big differences seems to be neurological. To say that my family is “neurodiverse” would be an understatement. There are folks on the Autism spectrum, folks who have serious issues with OCD and hoarding, folks who have such profound anxiety, that they cannot deal with pretty much anything and they run away from any challenge.

And then there are those relatives of mine who are just… different. They’re not like the people I live around every day. There is something quite different about their world view, their orientation to life, and the way they relate to others. It’s very clear that their brains have been shaped differently by the environment they live in, which is a close-knit community centered around their religion and their own particular set of beliefs.

Seeing them in action is ample evidence that we can — and do — change our brains, every waking moment of our lives. My relatives and their social circle are radically different from the rest of the world, because they have been thinking and acting and believing differently from the rest of the world, all their lives — for generations. They have specific thought patterns, they have specific beliefs, they have specific priorities and routines and rituals they go through every day, every week, every month, every year of their lives, from the cradle to the grave, and they are — each and every one of them — defined and refined by that particular mix.

And if they can create identities and senses of who they are that are radically removed from “the world”, developing their brains in ways that set them apart from some and pull them closer to others, then by God, anybody can do it.

Seriously. I do not not spring from a long line of rocket scientists. They’re simple people. Not stupid, for sure, but not clever and brilliant in the ways that we associate with geniuses and, well, rocket scientists. They have a different sort of intelligence that they have cultivated over the years, which they constantly reinforce by repeating certain “truths” to themselves over and over again.

  • Things shall be done this way — not that.
  • These — not those — are our values.
  • You must answer to your neighbors if you step out of line with how you maintain your house and yard.
  • You must answer to your church, if you step out of line with your lifestyle and habits.
  • There is a right way and a wrong way, and while the choice is yours, you can’t stay on as a member of the community unless you follow the right way.

While I don’t ascribe to most of what they believe, anymore, still I have benefitted from the tenacity and resolve they have, and my TBI recovery has been very much shaped by the routines and rituals I have developed in place of the old ones I was raised with. And the fact that I am doing as well as I am — keeping it together during the trip to the family, as well as keeping it together now, getting plenty of rest yesterday, following through with plans and necessary activities — has every bit to do with that discipline and rigor of my upbringing.

And looking at how differently my relatives have developed — in some ways not so healthy — I cannot help but believe with all my heart that the same principles of brain “re-wiring” that apply to them and the generations of my ancestors before me, apply all across the board, to all of us who have brains (including animals).

We change. Our brains change. Our habits of thought and action shape us, and our focused attention directs the ways in which our brain connections fire together — and wire together. Everything we do, affects our brain, and even after injury, the brain can still rewire itself in ways that nobody thought possible. The more we learn about the brain, the more we realize we have yet to learn, and as far as I’m concerned, all bets are off, in terms of what can be accomplished after a brain injury.

Five critical ingredients, I believe, are:

  1. Motivation
  2. Discipline
  3. Rest
  4. Humility
  5. Faith

It takes a lot of energy and dedication to turn your brain (and your life) around, and you have to keep your motivation up. You have to want it, like nothing else. You have to find reasons you’re doing it — reasons bigger than yourself, which pull you out of your funk and move you forward.

Motivation has a way of running low, though, so you need more than that. In the absence of motivation, you have to be extremely disciplined — each and every day — to ensure that your brain is getting a regular dose of proper training.

Rest comes next. You cannot grow and heal without rest. The body needs to clear out the leftover junk from your brain, and sleep does that. And your motivation and discipline require fuel. Rest provides that.

Next up, is humility, because restoring yourself, your abilities, and finding new ones you never knew existed, can be a humbling experience. Things you used to have “down pat” don’t work anymore. Things you used to know and be able to do easily … well, they may be gone, either temporarily or permamently. You can have a humiliating experience, or a humbling one. Choose humility, and you make it easier on yourself. No one has all the answers. Humility makes it possible to learn things from scratch, which is just part of the deal after brain injury.

Last of all is faith — it can be religious, or it can be just a faith in the process, that whatever comes will have some greater purpose, and that all challenges are opportunities for growth. Faith is the thing that keeps us going when everything else fails. The motivation and discipline, rest and humility, that you depend on, may be in short supply, so you’ve gotta have faith. It’s the only way.

Ultimately, I believe that the key to a quality TBI recovery is consistency and repetition. Our brains have gotten scrambled. Our wires have been either disconnected, or frayed beyond recognition. Sometimes whole parts of our brains are out of commission. But now we know that critical parts of the brain can be destroyed, or never even in existence, and it doesn’t need to stop us from living our lives. We can regain functionality. We can continue.

TBI recovery means a lot of different things to different people. Some folks even maintain it can’t be done.

Those people have no imagination, apparently. Plus, their science is off. Certainly, there are parts of our systems that will be gone-baby-gone, but I’m not talking about replicating the exact same functionality of every affected part, so we go back to being exactly as we were before. We’re talking about recovering quality of life and abilities of many kinds — recovering from the loss, the shattered self, the damage to our ability to live and function and be a part of a larger community. NONE of those things need be lost. It may take time, but they can be restored.

During my last trip to see my family, I was able to look people in the eye. I was able to think through options and weigh choices, as well as map out plans based on numerous scenarios. I was able to “be there” for my parents in ways I’ve never been able to, before, and I kept my cool for the most part, except when I was so drastically tired, that I couldn’t even think (and wasn’t being very patient).

My experience and personal expression is dramatically different from how it’s been over the years past, and I have TBI recovery to thank for that. Anybody who says TBI recovery is not possible, needs to revise their world view.

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Body practice for brain improvement

I’ve added a new piece to my morning/evening routines — when I am about to brush my teeth, I pull my toothbrush out of the holder and toss it from hand to hand. Sometimes I flip it around and try to catch it. Sometimes I can, sometimes I miss… drop it, and have to wash it thoroughly before I brush my teeth.

But I have noticed my hand-eye coordination improving. And my response times improve, as well. Also, I have noticed that I have been able to catch things that I start to drop more easily than ever before.

Like silverware falling out of my hands and headed for the floor — I have caught them several times.

Like a travel mug full of coffee that tipped over, and I was able to right before it spilled all over the place.

There have been a number of situations where my eye-hand coordination is definitely better than I can remember it being for a while – perhaps if ever. I was very active as a kid and played a lot of ball games, but I was a little spastic and had trouble coordinating my movements.

And I was convinced I could not juggle, because I was so “dorky”. I was convinced I was a lot of things (not all of them flattering) because of my coordination problems. My issues were probably a lot less than I believed they were, but because they didn’t match what I was expecting, I considered them terrible.

And I kept myself from doing a lot of things, because I figured, “Well, that’s just how I am, and I have to live with less as a result.”

Sad – pretty much of a waste.

Now things are different. Now I’m not convinced that anything I believe about myself is actually true. I’m questioning it. Trying new things. And discovering more things about myself than I ever did before.

Juggling helps me. Even just tossing around a pen is beneficial.  How?

  1. It improves my eye-hand coordination. I am getting better at catching things I toss from one hand to another. And when I spin the thing(s) I toss, it challenges me. I have dropped a lot of things, but I am getting better.
  2. It improves my self-control. When I drop things, I typically get very upset and start to blow up (inside mostly, sometimes outside). This is very disruptive. Knowing that I am practicing keeps it chilled out for me. Tossing a non-essential object, dropping it, and then practicing self-control and not flying off the handle, is helping me in my everyday life, when things go wrong unexpectedly.
  3. It improves my sustained attention. I can focus for longer and longer periods of time. I notice that I drop things when my attention wanders. Focusing on the object I’m tossing from hand to hand for a few minutes… then a few more minutes… then a few more minutes… is helping me to stay focused longer.
  4. It teaches me to block out distractions.  This is different from sustaining my attention. It’s one thing to lengthen the amount of time I can focus single-mindedly on something. It’s another thing to know how to block out sudden distractions that pop up into my field of view, or come to mind. Most of my distractions actually come from inside my head. I’ll start thinking about something else… and then I’m toast. I drop what I’m trying to catch. Or I toss something in the wrong direction. Practicing tossing things from one side to another — and most of all practicing not getting my attention pulled away — has actually helped me a great deal.

Recently, a reader posted a comment:

I saw a documentary on the brain and neuroplasticity and heard that juggling tennis balls can improve executive function.
I think it worked:
It only took the (uninjured) guy in the movie one practice session to be able to juggle several tennis balls.
It took about 2 months for me to be able to consistently juggle one ball.
I could only do a few minutes once or twice a week because it used so much of my brain energy.
After a few weeks I noticed my thinking seemed faster and switching between tasks was easier. There was also a measurable jump in my typing and reading speeds.

Now aprox 3 months later; I still do a few minutes, two times a week, but can use 2 balls. I just tested my typing speed again and it is aprox. twice as fast it was when I started the juggling exercise.

It’s worth a try: low cost, no side effects. Be aware that it took lots of patience and really used up a lot of brain enery when I started (so plan accordingly), but it got easier.

This is WAY cool. As they said, it is low cost and has no side effects — other than improvement in important areas.

It also takes a lot of brain energy at the start — I can also attest to that, because when I started tossing my toothbrush from hand to hand, first thing in the morning, I dropped it a lot, and spent a lot of time rinsing it off. (Why did I used my toothbrush? Because tossing something important raised the stakes and forced me to pay close attention.) It was very challenging when I started, to tell the truth.

But bringing in a tennis ball has expanded this — and it’s something I can do just about anywhere, just about anytime. In fact, I sometimes take a break at work to go to a quiet room and toss a tennis ball around. I may just add another ball to it and practice juggling.

Now, it’s all very well and good to learn how to juggle. It’s fun. It aids neuroplasticity. And it will be an accomplishment, if I ever manage it.

But the real benefit is not the juggling ability alone. It’s the psychological, experiential, and behavioral benefit I get from it.

Having better eye-hand coordination can reduce the number of “clumsiness events” in my life that not only drive me crazy but make me feel stupid and dim.

Being able to catch a tipping cup of coffee — that I can’t afford to spill — is a huge boost to myself-confidence. And it also spares me the internal storms of anger, range, frustration, and self-recrimination. It’s also good for my self-image, which can use a lot of help.

Being in better contact with the world around me, and having a more fluid interaction with my physical environment can offset the effects of my dizziness and the times when I am “off” — for one reason or another. Developing my coordination, my muscle memory, my ability to skillfully adapt to sudden changes in my environment… it’s all good, and it only helps me.

Overall, the strangely wonderful side-effects of tossing objects from one hand to another are helping me feel better about myself, feel like less of a klutz, and make me more relaxed and at-ease with the world around me.

And that’s a good thing.

So, onward…

 

 

Study Finds That Neurons Can Be Reprogrammed to Take on New Identities

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In work supported by The ALS Association and funded through The Milton Safenowitz Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program, researchers have for the first time reprogrammed a neuron from one type into another and have done so in a living organism. The finding will help scientists better understand how to control neuronal development and may one day aid in treating diseases in which neurons die, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The study was published in the journal Nature Cell Biology.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no cure and no life-prolonging treatments for the disease.

“This discovery tells us again that the brain is a somehow flexible system and gives us more evidence that reprogramming neurons to take on new identities and, perhaps, that new functions are possible,” said Lucie Bruijn, Ph.D., Chief Scientist for The Association. “For those working to treat neurodegenerative diseases, that is reassuring.”

Read the rest of the article here >>

TBI Myth #4: The Lourdes Phenomenon (or… Don’t Expect Miracles)

So, there are no miracles? I find that difficult to believe.

Here’s more discussion of The 10 Myths of Head-Injury — with some strong disagreements by me, which when considered seriously, might actually improve the quality of care of TBI survivors.

This is what Thomas Kay, Ph.D. and Muriel Lezak, Ph.D. have to say:

Myth #4: The Lourdes Phenomenon

This is often a side effect of subscribing to Myth #1 (the Myth of “Recovery”). The reference is to the town in France (Lourdes) where miraculous cures of illness are reputed to take place. There are many families who firmly believe that some “miracle” will occur after brain injury and return their loved one to normalcy (recovery).

BB: Okay, first of all, let’s define “miracle” — is what people are expecting actually a “miracle” compared to what science/medicine imagines is true, or is it miraculous by everyday standards? I can see how a belief that some magical event will take place to bring a person back to how they were may be unrealistic and self-defeating. But at the same time, miracles happen every day, and medical reluctance to admit to really good things happening unexpectedly just makes it seem all the more miraculous. So by its very denial, medicine contributes to the belief in “miracles,” yet it’s apparently blind to this.

I’m going to rein myself in on this one, because as I discussed earlier in my response to Myth #1 (the Myth of “Recovery”), I categorically reject the idea that recovery is not possible for people with traumatic brain injury. First of all, the definition of “recovery” is far too limited, in the way it appears to be used by Lezak, et al., to really constitute real recovery. They seem to equate “recovery” with returning to exactly how you were before your injury. But “recovery” can mean a whole lot of different things, and in fact, I like to use the term in the same sense that my friends who are recovering addicts or alcoholics use it. It’s not about going back to how you were exactly before your injury. It’s about recovering your functionality, your dignity, your ability to cope and grow and change, to be a full person living a full life. Anyone who denies that to a TBI survivor is worse than cruel. They’re also a little dense, and not to be trusted with true recovery, as far as I’m concerned.

Belief in this myth often takes the form of “doctor hopping” or “program hunting.” Families will put the head injured person through every available program or with every available therapist. Despite any tangible signs of improvement, many will continue to believe that if only they could find the right person or right approach, everything would be better.

BB: Okay, let’s hold on just a moment, here. “Doctor hopping” or “program hunting”? How is it wrong to continuously seek out the best care possible for someone you love and care for? Referring in such a derisive manner to a person’s quest for quality care in the midst of a totally f’ed up medical system that can’t even agree on proper standards of diagnosis and care for TBI survivors, is not only pompous and self-serving, but also dangerously dismissive.

I could have been accused of “doctor hopping” prior to my diagnosis and rehab, because nobody I went to seemed to have a clue, and nobody seemed willing to actually help me — or even tell me exactly what was going on with me. They asked me about my mental/emotional health. They asked me about my relationship with my parents. They asked me when the last time was that I took drugs. They came up with snap diagnoses, from “Meniere’s disease,” to repressed childhood trauma, to not getting enough sleep, to playing music too loud. They asked me a few questions, came up with a quick answer, wrote me a prescription or gave me a specialist’s name, and sent me on my way. But could they stop and listen and take some time to actually consider the whole of my situation in a logical and considered manner? Nope. I guess I didn’t have enough billable conditions. Or they thought I was just looking for attention. Or drugs. Or they thought I was crazy. I stopped looking for help from doctors, when I realized that they were on track to have me put under psychiatric observation and shoot me up with pharmaceuticals to make me more manageable.

Of course it is true that often head injured patients make significant gains only when hooked up to a competent therapist or top notch program, but that is not what is meant by the myth. Families who believe in this myth cling to the most unrealistic expectations when it is evident to everyone but them that their loved one has limitations which are not going away.

BB: Really? “Only when hooked up to a competent therapist or top notch program”? It can happen that you can make significant gains if you’re connected with someone like that. But other people who do NOT get proper care do make gains. It can be tremendously difficult and painstaking and full of needless suffering, but there is such a thing as self-directed, even spontaneous recovery. The medical industry seems to have pretty much organized itself around denying that this can happen… and only when they start to lose money, and then figure out how they can “integrate their findings” with the very facts they dismissed before, do they start to get with the program. Of course, by then, it’s way too late for a lot of people.

It’s maddening.

One of the other things that’s maddening about this is that it’s been my experience that people need to have information to go on, and when they can’t get information from a doctor or other healthcare provider, they turn to other sources. Like their faith. Like the internet. Like someone they talked to who had stories of miracles. Like actual accounts of miracles. If anything, it seems to me that the medical establishment only encourages people to look to the fantastical sides of life, by not providing the information that people actually require to make logical connections of their own.

I do “get” that some families will cling to completely unrealistic hopes, and that must be frustrating for lots of rehab people. But how much of that is fed by reticent doctors and specialists who won’t actually talk to them about what they know and what the family can expect? Acknowledging that patients and their families are in fact human and deserve the respect and dignity of a real response to their situation could go a long way towards addressing the gaps that are filled in by the miraculous.

TBI is like a black box in medicine, and terribly few professionals actually seem willing to discuss it openly and frankly. It’s a combination of the medical system, I think, along with doctors just not knowing enough — or being sure of things that are flat-out wrong.

The solution lies not in finding the right “cure”, but in helping patients and families become aware of and accepting the limitations and developing new goals and expectations.

BB: As Charlie Brown would say, “Aaaauuuuuugggggghhhh!”

What he said

This just makes me crazy. “The solution lies in … ‘helping’ patients and families become aware of and accepting the limitations”? Dude, WTF?! Seriously. I mean, I get that we change after brain injury, but we change just when we live our lives. It’s simple human nature. None of us are the same from year to year, and we don’t talk about our changing personalities and priorities and abilities and goals in terms of “limitations”. Sure, there may be changes — sometimes extreme ones — but calling them all “limitations” is insulting and denies the truth of the whole of human experience.

And in any case, whatever happened to the whole neuroplasticity thing? Seriously folks, we come into this world blank slates who are formed and educated and shaped by the world, and our ability to grow and learn and change never goes away — unless we let it. We have so much more ability to learn and change and grow, than many of us expect or realize. And if we approach our recovery like we would approach re-raising a child (in this case, the kid is us), we may find ourselves encountering many of the same issues that we saw when we were younger. Now we’re older and a lot of our cluelessness makes no sense (to us as well as you) so it can be confounding. But folks, let’s think about this in terms of re-learning and re-teaching and not just give up.

Oh, no — never ever give up.

Thank heavens I didn’t give up on reading, three years ago, when I was having a hell of a time remembering what was paragraphs from one page to the next. Thank God I didn’t just quit reading altogether. I thought I was going to have to, but then I decided I was going to train myself to read again. I could do it before. I learned how to do it when I was a kid, so why not follow the same kind of process that I did when I was little, to teach myself again as an adult? Why the hell not? That’s what I did — I started out reading things that I may or may not have understood, but which were fun to scan and run my eyes across. Then I started reading adventure books — spy novels and such — because they held my attention. They didn’t always make sense, and I didn’t finish any that I started, but at least I got going a little bit. Then I “graduated” to other kinds of books about things that interested me – Samurais and zen masters. And I’m not back at a point where I can actually read an entire book. It’s taken me a few years, and it’s been very disheartening at times, but I did manage to do it.

Not being able to read was a pretty obvious hardship for me, years ago. But it was not a limitation that I was willing or able to accept, so I fixed it. And the thought that tons of TBI survivors can also be capable of re-learning necessary and needed behaviors, because it’s more “realistic” — it just makes my blood boil.

What a tremendous waste of human capability and potential. It’s heart-breaking. And the people who are promulgating this mindset are “experts” who are looked to by their peers and lots of other people for guidance, direction, etc.

Like Charlie Brown says, “Aaugh!”

Why shouldn’t we have miracles? Why shouldn’t we have hope? What gives anyone the right to steal away our hope? What gives anyone the right to kill our spirits, in the interest of “protecting” us? It makes no sense.

Unless… you consider that the people who are encouraging us to scale back our expectations are A) not very smart, outside of their chosen fields, B) not very experienced in life outside the laboratory, C) not willing to put in the work to help us recover, D) not able to bill insurance companies for the extended time it takes to help us, E) too accustomed to thinking inside their little boxes to consider alternatives, F) very invested in defending their positions because they’ve built a reputation on them, etc.

There are many reasons to cave into the pressure of seemingly insurmountable TBI difficulties. If the experts want to give up and go off and sip umbrella drinks on a beach instead of helping us, then let them. But they have no right to deprive us of our hope.

Screw ’em. I’ll design my own damn’ recovery, thank you very much.

And on that note, I’m off to continue my day. Time for lunch.

For neuroplasticity, balance the autonomic nervous system

Connecting the dots...

I have been giving a lot of thought to the interaction of the autonomic nervous system with the brain’s “wiring” lately, reaching some conclusions that I’ve noticed from my own life. I’ll have more to say about this later, but my hands are getting pretty tired from typing so much, lately. I also have to leave for work, soon, so I’ll write more later.

But the bottom line — if I may start there — is that when it comes to creating and maintaining new connections in the brain and making the most of our neuroplasticity, it’s very, very important to balance the autonomic nervous system. If you get too fight-flight (sympathetic nervous system), your brain literally shuts out vital information that you need to expand your synaptic connections. If you get too rest-digest (parasympathetic nervous system), you lose a lot in terms of attention and general levels of wakefulness.

Both extremes are not good. You need to have the capacity for complexity in your brain, and you have to have the resources to make the most of that capacity, create new connections, get neurons to fire together, so they wire together.

And when I look back at the past several years, one of the things that made my continued recovery possible, I believe, was a combination of exercise and a focus on calming my ANS — first, through the approaches of my neuropsych, then by my own dawning awareness that this was something I needed to do… and then my increased awareness that (whether or not they were planning it that way), balancing fight-flight with rest-digest was exactly what my neuropsych was achieving.

Anyway, I have to get to work. More later…

Yes! Brain plasticity information

Neurons that fire together wire together - fire away!

How Brain Plasticity Affects You And Your Cognition

Brain plasticity has to do with the ability of the brain to alter its structure and functions in response to external changes and stimuli and affects your cognition. Some of these can involve molecular changes such as new neural pathways or disconnected neural pathways. And others can entail other parts of the brain taking over functions which it might otherwise not perform. There are three main forms of brain plasticity which will be described below.

1.Synaptic Plasticity

2.Neurogenesis

3.Functional Compensatory Plasticity

Good stuff — check it out!

Brain has ability to adapt and change through life

Check out this Chicago Tribune story (courtesy of The Dallas Morning News)

By the time Scott Hayner of Highland Park, Texas, was 7, he had had one skull fracture and three major concussions from falling off horses.

Nobody connected those accidents to the difficulties he had in school as he acted out, stopped talking for three months and cried daily for two years. As an adult, he seemed to be a thriving, successful stockbroker, until traumatic brain injury from a 1999 soccer accident led to seizures and sidelined his ability to talk to people and stay on task, it seemed, for good.

Two realizations have turned his life around at 42. First, he realized that brain injuries were behind the troubles he had had all his life. And second, he read about brain plasticity — the concept that the brain can heal and learn at all ages.

“It was a relief,” says Hayner, who credits his 2008 training at the University of Texas at Dallas‘ Center for BrainHealth for helping to restore abilities that he thought were long gone. “It helped me regain my self-esteem and self-confidence. It gave me hope.”

Read the full story here

Someone reviewing books about brain injury

Here’s the latest entry — one of my favorite books, and one that made all the difference in my being able to address my own TBIs.

The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

New nerve cells — even in old age :)

Guess what? You can teach an old dog new tricks.

Recent research published from the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology in Freiburg shows that “neuronal stem cells exist in the hippocampus – a region of the brain that plays a central role in learning and memory functions – that can produce new nerve cells throughout life.”  These stem cells create “new neurons. … they divide continuously and create new neurons in young animals, [and] a large proportion of the cells in older animals persist in a state of dormancy. However, the production of new cells can be reactivated, for example, through physical activity” which gives hope to the rest of us who are no longer young animals, but could still use some regeneration.

This research is particularly encouraging for me, because it reinforces what I have read in many other places, and I have also experienced in my own life. Exercise helps my injured brain. It helps me wake up in the morning, it helps me chill out my anxiety and agitation, it helps me regulate my moods, it helps me learn. It just helps me. All across the board. And now research is being published that shows not only what it’s capable of doing (like Kramer’s and Ratey’s and others’ work), but how.

The insight into the regeneration of brain cells in the hippocampus is particularly huge for me, as the hippocampus is one area where my neuropsych says I am having some issues. I’ll need to check with them when we meet again, to get more details and insight, but for now, I’ll just bask in the glow of this newly published research which gives me yet one more reason to hope for the future of myself, and countless other individuals who have sustained concussion and TBIs, whether on the field of battle, on the highways, or in the course of their everyday lives.

The use of neuronal brain stem cells in the treatment of brain injuries or degenerative diseases like Alzheimers may also be possible one day,” hopes Verdon Taylor, one of the authors of the study. Personally, I’d say it’s already possible. In my case — and others’ —  it’s already happening.

Defining the mind

Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEdq04xbHAs