Changes in the Brain by Aging, Trauma, Injury or Illness – Exercise Can Help
Annually, 1.7 million people incur a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and over 795,000 people sustain a stroke in the U.S. alone. Collectively, nearly 2.5 million individuals sustain an acquired brain injury (ABI) annually. The annual incidence rate of TBI from 2002 to 2006 was 579 people per 100,000. The corresponding annual incidence rate for stroke was 189 persons per 100,000 based on a standardized sampling schema. Taken together, the annual incidence rate for TBI and Stroke combined is 768 persons per 100,000. Comparing this number to all cancers combined at 463 persons per 100,000 highlights the significant prevalence of acquired brain injury. In light of these numbers, it is critical that the processes underlying ABI injury as well as the processes modulating recovery are understood. Only then can treatment and rehabilitation be further refined to enhance recovery. (1)
A brain injury has the effect of interrupting neurons. Neuroplasticity enables the brain to re-learn those functions it relied on prior to the injury. If, after injury, the neurons are not used then the disability can become exacerbated. Again, exercise is an important component in promoting neuroplasticity and helping the brain to re-learn its normal functions.
After injury to the brain, the processes of neuroplasticity are thought to be the underpinnings of recovery. (2) Through the process of training, neuroplasticity is induced. (3)
The LTMA program provides a long term structured exercise program that aids in re-learning movement skills. The sequencing of these exercises facilitates the process – learning the more basic functions (balance and stability) first, then progressing through object control, dynamic movement, agility, and so on. In short, it enables the improvement of physical functioning while stimulating the brain and promoting neuroplasticity.
We offer both individual and institutional programs and can tailor a program to suit your needs.