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Less is more? stroke rehab



I know this is outside the normal brain expectation but I rhetorically ask anyway. And this really does not help myself or anyone else, but someone has to ask the head-scratching questions if we want to understand how recovery works. Stump your neurologist with this question.

Standard dogma in brain exercise is that the more you use an area more neurons are recruited from adjacent areas to strengthen your ability to do those tasks. Ie. braille readers increase the area of the sensory cortex mapped to finger tips. This brings up the conundrum in stroke rehabilitation, we have lost millions of neurons and have damaged millions more. If we make the assumption that neurogenesis and stem cells will not be able to help us we are led down three possible paths of complete recovery. I actually believe in neurogenesis. :bouncing_off_wall:

1. Neurons can do double duty, control toe function and finger sensation.

2. Single neurons are enough to control functions. This is described here;

http://oc1dean.blogspot.com/2011/04/single-neuron-power.html Meaning that we take an area that used to use 1000 neurons to control a function and reduce control to 1 neuron, thus freeing up 999 neurons for other uses. I'm sure it would take a lot of research to even prove if this is possible.

3. An area of the brain is selected for takeover, cleaned of its old functions and replaced with more agressive needs. Ie. toe function is lost and replaced with finger function. In this case you hope your cognitive functions are strong enough to resist being taken over.


Never mind me, my stroke-addled brain is trying too hard to figure out the brain. :roflmao:


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Dean, I am watching Ray rapidly losing certain functions now. He may have had another stroke on 30th May. He certainly does have a fractured head of humerus and has been on a course of antibiotics for the chest infection that have taken away the fever but not the cough.


My question is: At this stage should we expect him to do physiotherapy or is the rest worth more than the repetitious exercise or trying to reform old pathways in the case of his legs or to increase the function of his now decreased use of his left arm? I wish I had a road map of some of this expected recovery and a work plan to go with it.



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Jeeze, I got nuthin' to add. All I can think of is, "how many neurons does it take to screw in a light bulb?"

*hangs head, sits down*



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Agreed, Leese is ready for Comedy Central!


Addressing Dean's (always) provocative questions --


I offer one of my favorite quotes:


John Eccles:


"The brain is so complicated that


it staggers its own imagination."


Rachel, staggered

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Well Leese, with minus 171 million I can still do it.

Rachael, hey I've still got billyons upon billyons of neurons, enough to come up with head-scratching questions and I think we need a stroke association that will offer prizes for answers to such questions. Its at least as important as human-powered flight.


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