Sunday, February 28, 2016

Both Neurogenesis and Neuroplasticity

"When I decided to get myself going again, it wasn't rehab. I decided to re-learn everything." From one of my webposts on Facebook

I knew I could learn VERY fast. Extremely fast. I started college at age 16, but felt I could have started earlier. I give a lot in
As soon as I could talk, I was giving my parents directions in the car. I was a child prodigy.

...Angela then entered into that realm of all knowledge, that quantum non-locality that theoretical physicists believe is real.... Probably,  since time doesn’t exist in this all knowledge state, Angela didn’t realize that it would be seven long excruciatingly difficult years to fix her brain from the original DNA blueprints."

Contrary to this, I did not intend to "heal" my brain. It may still be damaged right now. "When Pedro [Bach-y-rita] died, an autopsy, performed by Dr. Mary Jane Aguilar revealed that Paul's father Pedro had suffered a major stroke and suffered severe damage to a large portion of his brain stem, which had not repaired itself after the stroke. The fact that he had made such a significant recovery suggested that his brain had reorganized itself, providing evidence for neuroplasticity." This is about Paul Bach-y-rita's father. Paul Bach-y-rita was a famous neuroscientist.

My brain has most likely reorganized itself.

I decided to just re-learn everything. I could depend on learning something new. I couldn't depend on old skills returning. The slow, steady progress in skill attainment that is seen, is probably my rate of learning which is taken as rewiring. My learning is so fast, it is seen in awards and achievements. This happened as a child. It still happens as an adult. It is just slower.

I knew I had this ability to learn fast. What appears to be slow is actually very fast. Compare my slow recovery to another slow, almost non-existent recovery. Oh my.... It's very fast indeed! Time is relative. It depends on the comparison.

Parts of my brain may have still been alive. I think back to a neonatal developmental specialist I had as an instructor. She worked at Stanford in the hospital during the day and taught at night. She would have a second brain scan done after the bleed had cleared. She said accurate prognosis could not be made initially. (I actually studied brain bleeds in young children.)

I did have a second scan a couple years later for a brain surgery. If my brain was as bad as initial reports, this second hospital would have publicized it. The first place missed some things.

There also was most likely neurogenesis. How am I writing this? Writing skills did not exist prior to the bleed.

So is rewiring or making something new occurring? It may be a combination of both neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. My body is making something new and then it is wiring it.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Symptoms Not Characteristics

" I need a lot more rest than I used to. I’m not being lazy. I get physical fatigue as well as a “brain fatigue.” It is very difficult and tiring for my brain to think, process, and organize. Fatigue makes it even harder to think.
My stamina fluctuates, even though I may look good or “all better” on the outside."

This sounds like rewirlng. It also sounds like a lot of brain injuries.

The brain uses energy. "It is well established that the brain uses more energy than any other human organ, accounting for up to 20 percent of the body's total haul."

Take away that energy, or put it somewhere else, of course one
will get tired. Fatigue can be a symptom of brain loss or rewiring. It is not safe to assume it is due only to brain loss.

"My stamina fluctuates" is my Socially Awkward Penguin's comment. (He really is called "The Socially Awkward Penguin".)

As the skill is repeatedly performed, the neuropathway gets stronger. "In order for the brain to rewire an activity, the activity must be done repeatedly. Norman Doidge gives a description of this when he likens it to snow skiing, but uses it to explain a bad habit. "Plasticity is like snow on a hill in winter. If we want to ski down the hill we can take many different paths because the snow is so pliable and plastic. But being human we tend to favour one path and pretty soon we´ve developed a grooved track, which ultimately becomes a rut that is hard to get out of."  This process of rewiring can take a long time. This process can also be called neuroplasticity.

It can be completed when this new neuropathway is used. The body has to be trained to use it. 

This video shows two neuropathways.The top one is the old damaged way. The bottom is the new  one that works. On days you can do your task, you are using the new neuropathway, or bottom. When you can't, it's the old.

These two "characteristics" of brain injury (fatigue and doing/not doing ability) can be "symptoms" of rewiring. This process can take a very long time. It can take years, and a lucky survivor of brain injury won't take as long. "Something" is going on and it should be tracked. Self-report in the form of a yes/no question on a social security form is not enough. (Obviously, if I am still vegetative.)

"So, come up to the lab,/ and see what's on the slab!/ I see you shiver with antici... [3-second long pause] ...pation./ But maybe the rain/ isn't really to blame,/ so I'll remove the cause.../ [chuckles] but not the symptom." The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Saturday, February 13, 2016

I Pity the Fool

I'm not mad. I am only stating the obvious. You can then believe what you want.

The brain is amazing. It does have the ability to rewire. It has other abilities, too. Things are currently being learned about that take years for acceptance.

People ask about my brain. Here's this...
"What happens is that there is an injury to one part of the brain—most often the left hemisphere. And there is what I called a recruitment of still-intact brain tissue elsewhere. The brain seeks to correct the imbalance and will find an undamaged area, most often in the right hemisphere. There is then rewiring to that new area, and then there is the release of dormant potential, which can be at sometimes an astronomical level. So it's the three R's: recruitment of still-intact tissue, rewiring, and the release of whatever capacity is there."

This is all under savant syndrome. Did anyone think to look there? In my case no. I am typing with my left hand. There must have been " still-intact brain tissue elsewhere" in the right hemisphere. It was either missed or the tissue grew on it's own. It's more likely that the tissue was missed. 

Remember I said there were amazing things like rewiring? Well, there is also something called neurogenesis. They probably both happened in me. I'm not to be studied or anything else. I was listed as permanently being in a coma. I'm not ever to be conscious. The government believes I am still unconscious. Pity.