on neuroplasticity.

10Jun19

A mouthful of a word, for sure. But for those of us with brain and spinal cord damage, it’s mighty important.

Imagine that you need to drive from Seattle to Portland regularly for work. There is one major interstate that gets there. One day, a major storm (or, insert other disaster) destroys a bridge on said highway linking the two cities. So, you have a choice: either give up the job (and, ever visiting Portland again, it seems), or find a new route.

Initially, your new route would be slow. You’d be taking small, local roads, trying to find the new optimal path. Speed limits would be slower. But you’d eventually get to Portland. Plus, with more practice, your route would become a quicker drive, and get you from Point A to Point B more quickly.

That, in a nutshell, is neuroplasticity. Sure, I might have significant damage to parts of my brain and spinal cord, and messages might not be able to travel from one part to another like they used to. The good news? There are almost always alternative paths to send that information. They just have to be trained. And not just once, or even twice. But my dedication to seemingly small exercises has gotten me walking and functioning almost like a “normal” person… whatever that means. 😉

And it’s all because of neuroplasticity.

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4 Responses to “on neuroplasticity.”

  1. 1 Steve Yool

    Great inspirational metaphor! ❤

    • 🙂 Admittedly inspired by Norman Doig (The Brain That Changes Itself), but a good one, nevertheless.

  2. Have you looked at the MS Gym and Trevor Wickham? All about neuroplasticity

    • I love Trevor’s work at the MS Gym! Seriously, tho, between doing the things I could be doing that I’ve learned there, *plus* my own exercise routine… hours every day. I try to pace out the MS Gym work throughout the week (alternating body parts…) His recent neuroplasticity course got me thinking about this post, actually.


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