Neurological conditions range vastly from acute injury to chronic degenerative disease. All neurological conditions have in common one underlying process: damage to nervous tissue. Nerves are cells that are responsible for conducting messages throughout our body that control both motor (movement) and sensory processing, such as touch, smell and taste. Different neurological conditions present with different symptoms as a result of the location of damage in the body, and the mechanism of the neurological damage.
The Nardella Clinic of Calgary recognizes the need for neurological rehabilitation and continued care for the aging population, following a traumatic neurological event, and for patients with chronic neurological conditions. Our neurorehabilitation team will work with you to help to achieve your rehabilitation goals. Our approach to neurological rehabilitation is designed to create the optimal environment for recovery using the latest biomedical treatments. Individual treatment plans are designed for each patient, and neurorehabilitation uses state of the art treatments to help you gain the skills needed to continue to improve.
Neurological damage occurs for a variety of reasons including the most common; aging. As we get older our nerves naturally atrophy and become less efficient at sending messages. This can lead to decreased reflexes, balance problems, or age-related cognitive issues such as memory loss. Not everyone will experience age related neurological decline at the same rate. This depends on a number of individual factors including genetics, diet, medications, toxin exposure and lifestyle.
Neurological damage can also be caused by an acute injury. This includes a wide variety of conditions such as:
- Spinal cord injury
- Cerebral Palsy
- Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
This type of injury will typically result in damage to specific nerve cells in one location such as the brain or spinal cord. The nature and location of the injury will determine what symptoms the patient will experience such as loss of speech, paralysis, spasticity, cognitive delays or mood changes.
Chronic degenerative neurological disease is yet another category of neurological injury. This includes conditions such as:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Neurodegenerative conditions are those that are defined by a continual progression of symptoms. Chronic conditions occur for a variety of different reasons depending on the individual. Some may have strong genetic causes, others may be triggered by infection, oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage or exposure to toxins. Often times the exact origin of the disease is unknown and this condition are diagnosed by a specific set of symptoms or imaging. What is common for all these conditions is that with time the progression of the disease continues, either in a continual gradual way, or in series of attacks.
Neuroplasticity is a term that describes the body’s ability to adapt to neurological changes. The brain and our entire nervous system are constantly learning and adapting to our environment. Neurological rehabilitation treatments capitalize on this effect. This adaptation happens as a result of what the brain experiences and teaching it to learn new ways to do the tasks damaged areas of the brain were previously responsible for. The same way you can exercise and train your muscles, neurorehabilitation can exercise and train your brain. The theory of neuroplasticity has been around since as early as the 1700s and has been supported by research since the 1920s. Neuroplasticity can be as profound as a person who is physically blind being taught to view images using different cues to access different pathways to the brain, or a neurorehabilitation patient with a spinal cord injury learning to walk again. This is possible due to the fact that our brain is able to adapt and reorganize pathways as necessary.
At the Nardella Clinic of Calgary, neurorehabilitation treatment plans are designed to provide the right tools and ingredients to help your neurological system to adapt, change itself, and heal. Our neurorehabilitation programs are intended to move you through 5 stages of treatment goals:
- Long-term enhancement.
Patients may come to the clinic at any stage of this progression with the goals to improve further. Each individual will undergo an initial consultation and assessment to determine what your needs are and how best to help you further your rehabilitation.