By: Dr. John Conde DC, DACNB Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
The definition of neuroplasticity is as follows; the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience. In layman’s terms this means that the brain can increase or decrease the number and strength of its connections in specific areas in response to the environmental experience it undergoes. For example, if you start using your non-dominant hand exclusively, you will increase the density and strength of connections on the side of the brain opposite of the predominant hand that is being used.
The basic mechanism of plasticity is relatively easy to understand. Say you have neuron “A” which forms a connection with neuron “B” which then also forms a connection with neuron “C” (A-B-C). If neuron “A” is activated by you moving your arm then subsequently neuron “B” gets activated which then in turn does a wonderful thing and activates neuron “A” reciprocally as well as neuron “C”. In essence neuron “A” is activated twice. The activation process in the neuron unleashes a robust number of genetic events including producing new proteins and energy which in turn allows the neuron to produce another synaptic arm that allows it to now connect with more than one neuron. This is the basis for treating patients that have had injury and death to neurons in certain parts of the brain.
This information is invaluable for clinicians treating patients with all forms of neurological compromise especially those with acquired brain injuries. An acquired brain injury is defined as damage to the brain which occurs after birth and is not related to congenital or degenerative disease and may be temporary or permanent and cause partial or full disability. The most common forms are traumatic brain injuries, stroke, near drowning events producing hypoxia (lack of oxygen), drug overdose events producing hypoxia. Clinicians can activate certain regions of the brain through targeted neurological rehabilitation therapies and either encourage healing of damaged tissue or bypass dead tissue to restore function.
These neurological rehabilitation therapies are developed after a thorough examination to pin point the deficiencies in brain. The most cutting-edge therapies are evidenced-based and have metrics in place to objectify improvement. One treatment that checks all the boxes is the Dynavision D2. The used is required to manually compress targets made up of 64 LED lights that are blinking in a strategically established manner according to the neurological presentation of the person. The information is recorded and attention is placed on speed and sequence. This process engages and integrates two very important regions of the brain; the cerebellum and frontal lobe. Those areas of the brain are responsible for everything that makes us human such as problem solving, timing, sequencing, initiating thought processes and coordination.
Dr. John Conde is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist, one of only one thousand in the country. He holds diplomate status through the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. He provides specialized care for difficult cases of back neck pain, numbness-tingling, vertigo-dizziness balance disorders, fibromyalgia, migraines, AD/HD, autism, and dyslexia. His office is located at the Atlantic Grove in Delray Beach, FL and can be reached at 561-330-6096, firstname.lastname@example.org, and at www.thecondecenter.com