Updated 12/27/2011 12:34 PM
Health Works: UT professor studies rehab after strokes
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After suffering strokes, people often incur extreme brain damage and need assistance recovering.
Researchers at the University of Texas are finding ways to help recovery time become faster and better.
"One thing I would say is that we need to not think about a brain injury survivor as a hopeless case," Psychology Professor at UT and Neuroscientist Dr. Theresa Jones said.
Both undergraduate and graduate students, along with researchers at the University of Texas, are conducting experiments to study brain response after an injury.
"Anything you do as a brain-injury survivor is something that can change the brain. If you want to get functions back, what you do is try to drive it to the best of your ability," Jones said.
Working harder and using certain parts of the body, affected by the stroke, are ways to help get those functions back.
UT researchers are trying to learn what techniques are best used to help a healing stroke victim.
"If we can understand the rules of that, we should be able to optimize brain remodeling," she said.
Jones said the research they’re providing is life changing because the way the brain heals after a stroke has everything to do with the way stroke survivors are able to live the rest of their lives.
"We don't know enough to make it perfect at this point, but where you are right now, can get better," she said.
Rehabilitating after a stroke doesn't require surgery; according to Jones, it is more of a psychological approach.