Thursday, 15 October 2009

Snowdrop Rehabilitation Programmes for Adults

Adults are often the forgotten casualties of brain injury, the media and consequently the public often focussing their attention upon children. Adults suffer strokes / ischaemic attacks, they suffer head injuries, brain tumours, asphyxiation, just as children do, but what is also forgotten is that those children whose brain injuries have caused developmental disabilities grow up to be adults with developmental disabilities. So we have an entire population of adults suffering with cerebral palsy, autism, dyspraxia and a range of other neuro – developmental problems who perhaps aren't getting the attention of their younger counterparts. I believe this is a wrong which needs to be corrected and so, in response to an increasing demand for my services from adults, Snowdrop Child Development Consultants will shorten it's name simply to 'Snowdrop.' in recognition of the fact that adults suffer problems too and consequently are equally entitled to employ my services.

The brain has a high degree of plasticity, in that it is capable of reorganising it's functioning to accommodate the environment in which it finds itself, - it is capable of re-wiring itself. It is true that the younger the person the greater the degree of that plasticity, but that does not mean that as we get older, even into old age that the brain completely loses its ability to re-wire and change. Quite the opposite has been proven. Findings from studies over the past 15 years have clearly demonstrated that plasticity is not a quality which is unique to babies and children, adults and even senior citizens still possess substantial reserved plasticity, albeit more limited than their younger counterparts. (see references at the bottom of this page).

My programmes for adults, (which would consist of a few simple exercises, each lasting for a few minutes, to be repeated during the day), attempt to harness this plasticity by providing the person with an environment which is appropriately stimulating to their problem. In this way we can provide maximum opportunity to the brain to reorganise and rewire, which can lead to improved functioning in visual, auditory and tactile perception and improved functioning in mobility, language and communication, hand function, cognition and socialisation.

If you have suffered a brain injury, or care for an adult who has, or even if you simply want to maintain your brain's functioning to the maximum degree possible as you get older and you want to embark upon a programme, don't hesitate to contact us.


References.

Baltes P.B., Staudinger U.M., Lindenberger U. (1999) Lifespan psychology: theory and application to intellectual functioning. Annual Review of Psychology 50:471-507


Li S.C., Lindenberger U., Sikstrom S. (2001) Aging cognition: from neuromodulation to representation. Trends Cogn Sci. 5:479-486.


Lindenberger U., Baltes P.B. (1997) Intellectual functioning in old and very old age: Cross-sectional results from the Berlin Aging Study. Psychology and Aging 12:410-432.


Marschner A., Mell T., Wartenburger I., Villringer A., Reischies F.M., Heekeren H.R. (2005)
Reward-based decision-making and aging. Brain Research Bulletin 67:382-390.


Nicoll R.A., Schmitz D. (2005) Synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fibre synapses. Nat Rev Neurosci. 6:863-76.


Taskin B., Jungehulsing G.J., Ruben J., Brunecker P., Krause T., Blankenburg F., Villringer A. (2006). Preserved Responsiveness of Secondary Somatosensory Cortex in Patients with Thalamic Stroke. Cereb Cortex 16:1431-9.