Speech Therapy

Can Brain Plasticity Exercises Improve Speech?

Brain plasticity or neuroplasticity is defined as the shift of a specific brain function from the existing region to another. Brain plasticity exercises can help achieve this shift in function regions. In short, the function of dead cells/regions is taken over by the active healthy ones.

Brain Plasticity: When a person suffers from a stroke, some of the brain cells in certain regions would go dead. For instance, the speech and language processing is done by the prefrontal cortex in the brain. After a stroke, this region could go dead leaving the person speechless.

In such cases, intensive therapy and rehabilitation would train the brain’s other regions (which are active) to take over the functions of the dead regions. This is called neuroplasticity.

Plasticity is at its best and at its strongest when a person is still young.

Brain Plasticity Exercises: The brain possesses a certain amount of plasticity naturally which enables us to keep learning and moulding ourselves throughout our lives.

Once the neurons in a particular region become dead, for the other healthy neurons to take over and reorganise the brain, it would need intensive practice.

Physical Exercises: Physical exercises do not help the body alone but also improve the plasticity and the overall brain health of a person.

  • According to a particular 2002 study, physical exercises enhance the production of a certain neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is responsible for the growth, change and adaptation abilities of the brain.
  • Exercises like walking, running and cycling and sports can improve the plasticity of the brain.

Learning Exercises: As already mentioned, brain possesses the nature of plasticity naturally. Rehabilitation and therapies demand continuous practicing for any positive results to be achieved.

  • This is the reason children and adults who undergo speech therapy training are required to practice over and over. Repetition is directly responsible for reorganising the brain activities.

Computer Exercises: There are a number of softwares (like Lumosity, Mindfit, Brain Fitness et.) available for improving the plasticity. Also, games in a way pose new challenges to which the brain has to adapt. Such games are also very useful for improving the brain’s functions.

Memory Exercise: Loss of memory comes with age. Also, people who suffer from a stroke can face this problem. Simple memory exercises like remembering birthdays or phone numbers and trying to memorise the capitals of states can help deal with this problem.

Brain plasticity exercises can be very useful for allowing the healthy neurons of the brain to replace the dead neurons. New synapses to the paralysed areas int he brain can be formed with intense practice.

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