The Role of Neuroplasticity in Brain Rehabilitation

You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

Contrary to prior belief, recent research has shown that nervous tissue (including our brain) is able to regenerate. The speed at which the neurons (the type of cell comprising the nervous system) regrows is relative to our age. Our brains are the most plastic (moldable) up until we are two years old. By the time we are teenagers, the majority of the neurons we will have in our life are in place. Although our brain has ultimately stopped growing, it is still able to adapt or remodel when given the proper stimuli. The brain's ability to remodel is referred to as neuroplasticity.

How It Works - Neuroplasticity - Brain Rehab Clinic

How It Works

Step 1: Identify Nervous System Dysfunction

Now that we know the nervous system can repair itself, we need to know which part of the nervous system is damaged or dysfunctional. Your first visit to the Brain Rehab Clinic begins with a comprehensive neurologic exam. Don't worry, there is no poking, prodding, or scary electronics involved in this exam. Our doctors are specially trained to look for and identify dysfunction in the nervous system by conducting a complete neurologic exam. They will test all of your cranial nerves and look for any discrepancies. They will test your eye movement using specialized equipment, quantify your balance/posture, and examine hand/eye coordination. There is no additional charge for these tests. Most importantly, they will listen attentively to your experiences and ask questions that will help isolate the cause of your symptoms.

Step 2: Stimulate and Engage The Dysfunctional Pathways

Each nerve that is in our body has a specific purpose. Some sense pressure, some sense pain, and others stimulate muscles. As stated above, a neurologic exam will be conducted at your first visit to identify any weakness or dysfunctional pathways. Once identified, an appropriate stimulus can be used to strengthen and rehabilitate the dysfunctional system. In practice, it is very similar to strength training. If you want to build muscle, you lift weights (a stimulus). If you want to rehabilitate a nervous pathway, your provide the appropriate stimulus like vibration, smell, or movement. Your brain can be rehabilitated in a similar fashion. There are 12 cranial nerves that connect to different parts of the brain, each controlling a different part of the body (many of them on your face and head). Providing the appropriate stimulus to each of these nerves can strengthen, rehabilitate, or in some instances reprogram (make new neural connections or repair damaged pathways) your brain.

Step 3: Practice Consistently

You may recall that the process of remodeling your brain takes more time the older you get. That being said, it is important to note that this is not a quick and easy process. Studies have shown that it takes a minimum of 3-4 months of daily practice for your nervous system to make permanent changes. Your treatment plan will outline the exercises you will need to do consistently every day to create lasting change. You don't need to come into our office every day during this time (unless you want to). Many of the exercises and therapies can be done at home. There will be regularly scheduled visits during this period where we will retest the system you are working on to measure progress. Our patients who see the best results are the ones who are diligent and committed to their rehabilitation plan. One patient noted:

"Dr. Hatch provided a way for her to heal, but it was in our hands whether or not it was successful. I refused to fail. I couldn't live watching my daughter suffer for another second."

Step 4: Reevaluate and Compare

Incremental changes can be hard to notice and we want to make sure that you are improving. That is why we reevaluate at the end of your therapy plan with another neurologic exam. We will show you how you compare to your first exam and help you identify any progress that has been made. As your brain changes, your symptoms should change as well. Everyone progresses at a different rate and some individuals will require more therapy to reach their goal. Your progress will be assessed in the exam and you will have the opportunity to modify your treatment plan as needed. If your symptoms are gone and you would like to work on improving your brain's performance, we can tailor a plan that works for you.

Too Good To Be True?

Don't Take Our Word For It, Just Look At What Our Patients Have to Say:

All of the staff are amazing and super kind. They really do go out of their way go make sure you have a good experience. Dr. Hatch really knows his stuff and is incredibly nice. I highly recommend his services.
Andy O.
I met Dr. Hatch for the first time when he was working with my father 4 years ago. I was impressed with his genuine kindness and positive outlook. In the past year, 4 members of my immediate family have been the recipient of his knowledge and goodness. His ability to explain things clearly and connect with each patient on a personal level is truly remarkable. Miracles have happened in our family because of him. His staff is not one whit behind him. There is a kindness that permeates this clinic that you don't often find. They truly care about each individual that walks through their doors. Go see for yourself! I promise you will be glad you did.
Lori M.
Very professional and know their field. Love how they use instruments to measure your current status and then use this information to develop a protocol to help you improve your situation.
Dave P.
Dr. Hatch and staff are amazing. Our son was struggling with severe depression and antidepressants didn’t help. Dr. Hatch was able to help him. He has helped my daughter with Dyslexia. Her reading level is improving greatly. I can’t even begin to express how life changing seeing Dr. Hatch can be.
Suzy N.
Dr. Hatch and his staff have been such a blessing to our family and our son who suffers from misophonia. My son became a patient of his in April, 2018. He has had much improvement with his anxiety and triggers. Dr. Hatch is wonderful with my teen son and knows how to explain things so that my son can understand what he's talking about. The staff at Brain Rehab always go above and beyond to accommodate us and make us feel very welcome. P.S. Did I mention that we travel from North Carolina for treatment? Yes... they are that good!
Charity C
I would give Dr. Chambers five stars, he's amazing, and where I was ready to give up on living before I found him, I now have hope and help.
Marilyn G.