The Brain that Changes Itself


This is another brain book that I really loved. It’s probably a bit less technical than The Mind and the Brain which I also recommend but it helped me realize a big thing about dealing with muscular dystrophy — loss of physical weakness doesn’t necessarily result in loss of physical function.

A big topic in this book is how stroke victims can re-learn to use the paralyzed parts of their body by a stringent method of therapy that prevents them from compensating with the non-paralyzed parts of their body. For example, if the patient’s right side is okay, they will put a glove or restraint on that side so the patient is forced to use their left side to perform tasks.

If you think about it, this is very akin to some issue involved with muscular dystrophy. My left shoulder is much stronger than my right. So when I remember to, I force my right side to perform a task even if it’s more difficult. If I keep avoiding using the right side then the overall function will decrease.

In any case The Brain That Changes Itself is a very straightforward read — not very technical and extremely interesting.

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