Prevention & Recovery

3 alternative brain therapies

©iStockphoto.com/Latsalomao Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/Latsalomao

Prevention & Recovery

3 alternative brain therapies

1. Video game therapy
One pilot study at Halifax's Dalhousie University is assessing how people recovering from strokes can benefit from walking on a treadmill while playing a computer game designed to address stroke-related cognitive problems such as distractibility, reduced working memory and difficulty sustaining concentration.

Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery (CPSR) researcher Dr. Hillel Finestone, MD, a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Bruyère Research Institute in Ottawa, found that 30 stroke patients who played virtual reality games while standing made greater gains in balance and walking than a control group of stroke patients who played while seated. This suggests there may be benefits to combining virtual reality games with conventional rehabilitation.

2. Music therapy
Joyce Chen, a scientist at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a CPSR researcher, is testing how the use of noninvasive electrical brain stimulation may affect neural activity in regions of the brain that process movement. In another study, her research group is testing whether auditory cues such as music can improve the relearning of movements 
in stroke survivors.

3. Electrical brain stimulation
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto is leading a five-year study that will focus on the effectiveness of combining a noninvasive brain-stimulation treatment called transcranial direct-current stimulation with memory and problem-solving exercises, known as cognitive remediation, to prevent or delay Alzheimer's disease in people with depression or mild cognitive impairment.

Women have a higher risk of brain-disabling conditions. So here's what women need to know about their brain health.
                                               
This story was originally titled "Brain Changer" in the September 2014 issue.
           
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Prevention & Recovery

3 alternative brain therapies

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