Recent advances in the treatment and therapy for traumatic brain injury (TBI) hold promising results for the 1.4 million in the U.S. with TBIs.Â Researchers hope to make cognitive therapy more available to patients who have suffered brain injuries from car and playground accidents, domestic violence, war injuries, and even simple falls.
Much of the current research is based on recent studies which have shown that the brain has an immense capability to repair itself after an injury. Many of the innovations in cognitive therapy seek to assist the brain in repairing itself, as opposed to simply treating symptoms.Â One doctor, according to a MSN Health and Fitness article,Â has reported that over 70% of his most severely injured patients have regained much of their independent functioning over time.
While cognitive therapy still attempts to retrain patients in basic functions such as reading and writing, therapists and doctors also apply custom designed therapy strategies focused on the needs and aspirations of each individual patient. Doctors have also recognized the importance of including emotional rehabilitation as part of their treatment strategy. Patients derive great benefit and peace of mind by adopting emotional coping tools to keep functioning through difficulties and confusion inherent in many TBI cases.
Since the brain maintains an ability to repair and rewire itself throughout the entire human lifespan, new cognitive therapy approaches lend hope to 55 and older TBI patients as well. While the brain manages its own healing processes, scientists seek to assist it in rebuilding new pathways by teaching patients how to think through tasks.
Many health insurance plans do not cover cognitive therapy, but scientists, doctors, and researchers are busy gathering data in support of its vast potential for rehabilitation after TBI. They hope to establish cognitive therapy as a proven, widely available, and accepted part of recovery strategies, with research in MRI, brain mapping, and analysis of patient recoveries.