Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Stroke Wise - An Excellent Resource Blog

Just found an excellent blog with a wealth of information at strokewise.blogspot.com. There is a ton of resources for after acute care (AAC) stroke survivors and caregivers. Hope this is helpful.

Also check out what we're doing at the mindMender Project at mikezachry.com/projects/mindmender.

All the Best,

Friday, March 22, 2013

New Technologies for Stroke Rehabilitation

Hindawi Journal of Stroke Research and Treatment has published a new issue focused on New Technologies for Stroke Rehabilitation. There are a number of interesting articles but one in particular caught my eye. Titled Seven Capital Devices for the Future of Stroke Rehabilitation it explores recent work with some very high-tech devices.

Item eight in the list is the tablet-pc, including the iPad, confirms that our work at the mindMender Project will not be in vain. Working at the intersection of mobile technology and neurorehabilitation is the new frontier of stroke and TBI rehabilitation.

Check out our apps for the iPad at mikezachry.com/projects/mindmender. We have an exercise book, mindMender GMS, and a new engaging and entertaining game,  mindMender Traffic Controller.

All The Best,

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Competitive Plasticity

Michael Merzenich discovers "competitive plasticity" in the early '70's.
"The competitive nature of plasticity affects us all. There is an endless war of nerves going on inside each of our brains. If we stop exercising our mental skills, we do not just forget them: the brain map space for those skills is turned over to the skills we practice instead. If you ever ask yourself, "How often must I practice French, or guitar, or math to keep on top of it?" You are asking a question about competitive plasticity. You're asking how frequently you must practice one activity to make sure its brain map space is not lost to another."
     The BRAIN That CHANGES ITSELF, Norman Droidge, M.D.
We should never give up exercising our brain. It seems obvious from his work that stroke recovery must be regular and consistent to avoid competitive plasticity.

Checkout the mindMender Project. We are focusing on the intersection of mobile technology and neurorehabilitation. It is where you can make your contributions about how we can leverage mobile technology to improve rehabilitation for stroke and TBI survivors.

See how we're contributing with entertaining games and exercises designed specifically with stroke TBI survivors in mind at http://mikezachry.com/projects/mindmender/.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Building Herself A Better Brain

Just started reading The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, M. D.

Chapter two, Building Herself A Better Brain, is about Barbara Arrowsmith Young who is that rare person who makes the discovery and is the one with the defect.

Her brain was "asymmetrical". Her exceptional abilities coexisted with areas of retardation.

The chapter is about her discovery and leverage of the brain's plasticity and her dogged determination to train highly developed areas of her brain to take over for retarded areas.

The rest of her story is truly amazing so I won't spoil it for you. If you've not yet read the book it's worth the time. The first chapter about "A Woman Perpetually Falling" is equally if not more amazing.

I encourage you to read it.

Visit our website to see what we're doing at the intersection of mobile technology and neurorehabilitation.

mindMender Flight Controller game

The new mindMender game is almost ready for general consumption!  Just putting a few final touches on version 1.0 and it will be ready to upload to the App Store.

Advantages of this game are:
  • Multiple skill levels that don't change unless you want them to change.  This allows the user to excel at a level before having to move to the next.
  • Graphical view of previous scores to view how the user is improving over time
  • Uncluttered interface to promote unassisted play
These advantages make it a perfect game for recovering motor skills lost due to stroke or traumatic brain injury.

I'll keep you posted.  The new game should be available on the App Store in a few weeks after the App Store review process.

Here are some screen shots.