By Darren Buford
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, June/July 2001.
A new study conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found the brain has the ability to heal itself after a serious stroke (cortical reorganization). Published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, the study reveals the brain’s plasticity with regards to a debilitating attack which often results in damaged and/or malfunctioning limbs. Researchers studied 13 stroke survivors for 2–3 weeks and invoked rehabilitation therapy. The therapy (constraint-induced movement) requires the patient to not use the unaffected, or “good,” limb by restraining it. Participants in the study regained use of the paralyzed limb, even when a significant period of time passed after the stroke.