Functional Neurology is a complex therapeutic process which aims to improve brain function in individuals with various neurological malfunctions. Traditionally neurology tends to look at disease of the nervous system as “black –and-white” with white being optimal neurological function and black being neurological pathology. Functional Neurology looks at the dysfunction of the nervous system as different “SHADES OF GRAY” looking for subtle changes in the nervous system BEFORE they become distinct pathologies. Neurological Rehabilitation also differs from traditional neurology in that it is HOLISTIC: it should cater for the physical, cognitive and psychological aspects of the patient. PATIENT FOCUSED: therapy must be individually customized to the patient’s neurological needs. Stimulation of the patient’s nervous system must be specific to the particular patient. This cannot be done in a generalized or “cookbook” type program. Generalized treatments run the risk of exciting an area of the nervous system that is already overexcited, or stimulating an area that should not be stimulated. PARTICIPATORY: the patient and in many cases their families, must be active in the therapy process for optimal recovery. SPARING: therapy should aim at empowering the patient to maximize their recovery, independence and reduce physical impairment and the reliance on mobility aids (i.e. canes, walkers, wheelchairs, etc.)
CONDITIONS COMMONLY TREATED BY NEUROLOGICAL REHABILITATION: movement disorders, balance problems, decreased ability to walk, vertigo, dizziness, various degrees of cognitive function loss, various degrees of memory loss, traumatic brain injuries recovery, stroke recovery, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, various peripheral neuropathies, migraines, and tension headaches, tremors (intentional and non-intentional), chronic neck and back pain , numbness in extremities, various psychological concomitants, to mention a few.
FOUR FACTORS THAT ARE OF HIGH IMPORTANCE TO A NEUROLOGIST ARE:
- Determining where the failure in the brain or nervous system lies.
- Determine what would be the right stimulation to activate the brain or nervous system.
- Determine what the health and condition of the failing area of the brain or nervous system is, so as to determine how much stimulation would be needed.
- Using this vital information in order to apply the precise amount of stimulation to the patient’s brain or nervous system for maximum results.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
This will depend upon several factors:
- What is the neurological problem(s) the patient is experiencing.
- How much time the patient has experienced the neurological problem (chronicity).
- Other illnesses the patient is experiencing that may complicate the recovery process. The “SICKER” the patient, the longer it will take to recover.