April has suffered debilitating symptoms for over nine years since an illness left her with a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). After just six weeks of neurofeedback, she has experienced significant improvement. This interview with April, her daughter, and Mike Cohen of the Center for Brain Training explores the power neurofeedback can have in people’s lives, even many years after a brain injury occurs.
Neurofeedback, or brain training, can help people suffering repercussions of traumatic brain injury, post-concussive syndrome, and stroke.
A transcript of the video is available below:
A: She is a walking miracle for sure.
A: I mean, even now if you look at her actual MRI or anything, there is so much damage that people thought that she should be a vegetable or something like that by now. So after she got out of the hospital she couldn’t read, she couldn’t write, she had no depth perception. She was very out of it. She didn’t remember our names or anything like that.
M: What are you both seeing change since you’ve been training your brain with the neurofeedback?
Ap: My communication is lot better. My finding direction is a lot better.
A: I think she’s becoming more of herself again. She’s getting some of her personality back. She has always been pretty feisty. She keeps going no matter what happens. She seems to be getting a lot better. She can tell her right from left, which is a big deal. She is becoming a lot more sharp, I guess, mentally. She definitely has a ways to go, but this is improving her for sure. I think that a lot of things are possible with her because, before she got sick, she had so much drive and she was very inventive and creative and never let anything in life stop her. She’s still like that now, but she is really having a hard time putting her thoughts together and being organized, and the sharper her brain gets, I think that she could take that a long way.
M: When I met you, one of the things I noticed, April, was that you were almost like in a fog.
Ap: Yes. I’m much more alert.
M: So you are better able to communicate with other people now?
Ap: Yes, much better. Sometimes I have to hear what they said, and I can hear what they said but I couldn’t process it all. This is very encouraging. It’s amazing how I am seeing the brain come back around.
M: Did any of your doctors ever mention anything like this?
M: Did any of the other therapies ever help your brain like this?
M: I am just excited for you that your brain seems to be waking up.
M: Is that what it seems like?
Ap: Yes, in so many ways. I mean, I had other things; it’s very interesting, like the taste and the smell. You know, that didn’t really work.
A: Yes she had no taste, no smell for the most part. Even her vision changes all the time. Like when she goes to the doctor, everything is different all the time, so they can never give her glasses or contacts that actually work the whole time, which is really interesting, but it seems like since she has been doing the brain therapy, some of that has been coming back.
M: And you are interested in medical and going to a med school, is that right?
A: Yes, definitely. So the brain is definitely something that I am really interested in now, especially after seeing this, because doctors don’t seem to use this, like you had said, so I would definitely be interested in learning more and seeing how far you can go with it.