Rehabilitation after brain injury
Unlike most other cells in the body, brain cells do not regenerate when they are destroyed. However, this does not mean that no recovery can occur. The brain is somewhat flexible and is able to reorganize itself, to an extent, in order to regain lost function. This is known as brain ‘plasticity’.
During recovery, other areas of the brain take over the activities of the damaged areas and new nerve pathways can be established using undamaged brain cells. Engaging in activity helps these alternative pathways to develop.
Rehabilitation aims to help the brain learn alternative ways of working in order to minimise the long-term impact of the brain injury. Rehabilitation also helps the survivor and the family to cope successfully with any remaining disabilities.