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Medical Breakthrough for Stroke Victims

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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 lives.

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 the brain!

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.

 

 

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