To learn how the brain recovers from stroke, we need to first look at what a stroke is.
A stroke occurs when the supply of blood is cut off from a section of the brain (either by a clogged or burst artery), which causes damage to the oxygen-deprived brain cells.
Depending on which section of the brain the stroke occurs, the damage will cause certain stroke deficits due to the brain damage. Luckily, your brain knows how to make up for this damage.
Let’s take a look at how these two keys play a role in stroke recovery.
Neuroplasticity Helps the Brain Rewire Itself
Your brain is composed of 100 trillion neural connections – meaning that there are 100 trillion little pathways in your mind that retrieve and store information.
When a stroke occurs, part of the brain becomes damaged and a chunk of these connections are also destroyed.
That’s when neuroplasticity comes into play.
When your brain tries to heal itself, functions that were once held in damaged parts of the brain are then transferred to new, healthy parts of the brain through the process of neuroplasticity.
This process is what allows you to regain lost movement, speech function, and other abilities after experiencing a stroke.
Indeed, your brain is incredibly intuitive to know how to reconstruct itself.
Repetition Helps the Brain Recover Lost Motor Function
Your mind can’t do all the work on its own, though.
You need to help your brain by performing a high number of repetitions during your rehab exercises.
Repetition helps reinforce the new pathways in your mind, whereas haphazard exercise will lead to weak connections that will fade over time.
The more you train, the stronger and more permanent your new neural connections will become.
Neuroplasticity + Repetition = Recovery
By repeating your rehab exercises over and over, you can help your brain strengthen the new neural pathways that it’s trying to create through neuroplasticity.
If you stay determined and continuously put effort into your rehabilitation, you will see results.