A new rehabilitation therapy for stroke victims was validated in June 2000
after being tested at the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service,
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Birmingham, Alabama 35223 thanks
to Edward Taub, Ph.D. Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy or CI Therapy is
extremely intensive but the payoffs are huge and it doesn't matter whether your
stroke occurred last week or years ago.
The new therapy is for people with unilateral stroke problems. The good arm
and/or leg are restrained for 90% of your waking hours and the affected limb or
limbs are exercised for eight hours a day for two weeks. The work is tough and
intensive but has allowed disabled people to walk away and go back to normal
These results came about from the confirmation of the theory that the human
brain could "re-wire" itself so areas that were destroyed could be bypassed.
This is, in fact, what happens. The therapy is very successful at forcing the
area of the brain that controls the paralyzed limbs to be bypassed by new
neurological centers and cells that take over.
This phenomenon is earth shaking in the world of neuroscience. The
researchers showed that the area of the brain that controls the arm, leg, etc.,
on the damaged side doubles in size in about two weeks! The damaged area of the
brain that controls the affected limb actually jumps over to the other side of
This research opens up all kinds of other potential brain research
projects--like cerebral palsy, aphasia (speech affectation), spinal cord injury,
and even fractured hip. It is truly a medical breakthrough of monumental
proportions. If you have a one-sided upper extremity, post-stroke problem, you
can be helped if you can set aside a couple weeks to go to the CI Clinic.