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  • The Brain Recovery Project The Brain Recovery Project

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(34.14372,-118.15055)
 

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Mission Statement

Our mission is simple: to help children who have had hemispherectomy surgery reach their full potential. We will do this by supporting scientific research which addresses neuroplasticity and cortical changes following epilepsy surgery as well other post-surgical issues, and using such studies to develop "best practices" programs and protocols which target comprehensive recovery and rehabilitation. Our focus is not only on each child’s physical recovery from the surgery, but also on means to attain cognitive and behavioral success.

Description

Each year, 45,000 children in the United States develop epilepsy. For some of these children, the seizures are so frequent and severe that they are unresponsive to anti-epileptic drugs. Many experience seizures in excess of 100 per day that interfere with their ability to achieve even the most basic developmental milestones and often cause them to regress, losing important skills such as ambulation and speech. If the seizures originate only on one side of the brain, then a hemispherectomy - where one half of the brain is removed and/or disabled - is performed as a drastic yet effective means of stopping the seizures.

Living with half a brain is no easy task. The surgery leaves the child partially paralyzed on the opposite side of the body with some loss of peripheral vision. Some may lose speech, while others develop behavioral challenges. Once the surgery is performed - often on children as young as three months old - years of physical, occupational, and often speech therapy follow.

Very little is known about how the healthy side of the brain recovers the functions lost when the other half is removed. Not only are proper therapy models for these children unknown at this time, but the amount of therapy each child receives is wholly dependent on the parents’ income, insurance coverage, availability of state-funded services, and access to qualified therapists. As the child gets older and encounters new challenges as they enter adulthood, resources are few and limited. Parents have little guidance on what can best be done to help their child.

From this need The Brain Recovery Project was born. Our mission is simple: to help children who have had hemispherectomy surgery reach their full potential. We will do this by supporting scientific research which addresses neuroplasticity and cortical changes following epilepsy surgery as well other post-surgical issues, and using such studies to develop "best practices" programs and protocols which target comprehensive recovery and rehabilitation. Our focus is not only on each child’s physical recovery from the surgery, but also on means to attain cognitive and behavioral success.

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