Longer, Intense Rehabilitation Boosts Recovery After Brain Injury

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(UC San Diego Health) – Cognitive and functional recovery after a stroke or traumatic injury requires intense rehabilitative therapy to help the brain repair and restructure itself. New findings by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that not only is rehabilitation vital – in an animal model, rats with cortical injury that did not receive intensive rehab did not rebuild brain structure or recover function – but that a longer, even more intense period of rehabilitation may produce even greater benefit.

“This has implications for medical practice and medical insurance,” said senior study author Mark Tuszynski, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Neurosciences and director of the Center for Neural Repair at UC San Diego School of Medicine, and a neurologist with the VA San Diego Healthcare System. “Typically, insurance supports brief periods of rehab to teach people to get good enough to go home. These findings suggest that if insurance would pay for longer and more intensive rehab, patients might actually recover more function.”  CONTINUE