Monthly Archives: April 2018

New Technology Can Lead To More Success

Technology is an indelible part of our modern lives.  Just as our phones and televisions benefit from new technological advancements, neurorehabilitation from brain injuries also benefits from these advances.

The technological changes and uses for the new technology in rehabilitation come from different sources.  There has been a steady improvement in propriety technology aimed at therapists and doctors to treat individuals with brain injuries.  These new technologies aid in a wide range of therapies, from helping learn swallowing skills to improving  gait training.  For instance, it is relatively common to see a patient working on a task while wearing electrodes to stimulate particular muscle groups or walking laps while a programmable hoist unloads a percentage of the patient’s weight.

Separately but related, most patients now have smart phones, Ipads, tablets and other technology.  These items can be very useful for compensating for certain deficits.  For instance, many patients use their smart phones to keep track of their schedules and to program reminder alarms for daily activities.  There are numerous speech app that can be dowloaded to Ipads that allow patients to have more effective communication with others.  Built-in cameras are useful to compensate for deficits in visual memory.

These new technological advances benefit patients in multiple ways.  Many of these technologies improve the effectiveness of therapies.  This brings greater success in therapies and overall rehabilitation.  Other technologies provide new ways to compensate for deficits.  This helps reduce the impact of the injuries on patients’ daily lives.  Additionally, patients enjoy certain technologies that make the daily work of therapies feel more fun or interesting.  This helps keeps the patient motivated in the therapies.  The role of the therapist is to identify which technologies will benefit which particular patients as each patient is different both in their therapy needs and their personal comfort with new technologies.

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Ronald Reagan’s Brain Injury

Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States from 1981-1989.  He passed away in 2004 from Alzheimer’s Disease, perhaps the most famous victim of this terrible disease.  Most Americans are unaware that he had neurosurgery in 1989, just months after he finished his second term as President, to remove blood build-up between his brain and skull following a fall from a horse in Mexico.  Below is a link to an article on his surgery:

There is significant discussion in the field of medicine that a brain injury can increase the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s Disease or cause the disease to occur earlier in an individual’s lifetime.  For example, recent research found that patients with Alzheimer’s who had suffered a traumatic brain injury earlier in life developed the disease 2.5 years earlier than those who had not suffered a brain injury.

It is impossible to generalize from large-scale studies to a particular individual such as Reagan but it is worthwhile to acknowledge the possibility that his traumatic brain injury influenced the course of his Alzheimer’s.

Learn about brain injury treatment services at the Transitional Learning Center! Visit us at: