After a stroke, we can lose connections between brain cells, or we can gradually After a stroke, we can lose connections between brain cells, or we can gradually lose them with conditions like Alzheimer's. A brain cell without connections will die, but your brain can adapt, strengthen existing connections, and even make new ones.
We know the brain changes dramatically when we're children growing up. This is known as plasticity – like Plasticine, your brain is flexible, adaptable. And you can change it. This is called Neuroplasticity.
When you learn something new, you change your brain. You might have heard of this as ‘brain training’. Give your brain a ‘work-out’ and you will strengthen brain cell networks.
The charity Headway explains about the role of re-training in rehabilitation after brain injury: "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."
Stroke survivor Tom Balchin writes about re-training: "Everything you do will rewire your brain and by doing more, you will develop your motor control and gain strength." He goes on to say, "Task-related practice is the 'number one' way to retrain the brain."
Try learning a new skill. Here at Norton Street we have lots of things you can have a go at, for example, you can learn to sing in a choir or maybe play Boccia for the first time. We know it’s good for your well-being – and it will be good for your brain too!