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:

Dr. Hatch makes this place such a great experience! He is enthusiastic and knowledgeable and customizes treatment to suit each patient. Very positive environment.
Trevor D
Three members of my family have gone in to see Dr. Hatch. It has been life changing the things we have learned. It will change generations on the tools we now have to have improved in our life. Everyone could benefit from going to Dr. Hatch. Could not be any happier with the results! Thank you!
April F.
Dr. Chambers is the most patient, caring, Dr. I have ever come across. A lot of people in the medical field are in it for the money. But I can tell you that this man is willing to work with you and that he genuinely cares about your wellbeing. He sat with me for over an hour and made sure I understood every single detail. I am forever grateful for his kind-hearted staff and I truthfully believe he is in the right field of work. Thank you for all that you have done/will do for me. Thank you for giving me hope and a resolution. God bless you and your staff for spreading the light at the end of this long, treacherous, challenging, tunnel. I am finally starting to see the light again. Things are going to get so much better because I am receiving care from the right people. You guys ROCK!
Brent A.
Dr. Hatch and his staff have changed the lives of my children. I literally don’t know what I would have done without them. Because of this clinic there is HOPE for a brighter tomorrow.
Michele C.
Dr. Hatch is awesome. He has helped many people that I know and he has a great heart. I appreciate his dedication to helping people. If you need help with OCD, anxiety, and other things he is a master at getting the brain stronger so dealing with these things become easier and at times even decrease the symptoms to zero.
Steve B.
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.