The NOGGINS AND NEURONS Podcast

Learned Non-use

April 11, 2021

OVERVIEW: ...So hyper-acute, acute, subacute and chronic, those are the 4 phases...The way that you tell it’s time to start is look for subacute, spontaneous recovery and then, once they plateau, after that you’re not waiting for this easy ride of the brain coming back online...It’s all neuroplastic change after that. You’ve got to borrow from some other part of the brain that’s still intact and so then it becomes real learning....

EPISODE SUMMARY: In this first, full episode of NOGGINS & NEURONS: Stroke and TBI Recovery Simplified, Pete and Deb discuss the perplexing phenomenon of Learned Non-Use. This engaging conversation will help you understand:

  • How, when and why learned non-use it occurs
  • Common deficits and rehab approaches that contribute to learned non-use
  • An introduction to interventions and strategies to help thwart and reverse it

Join us as we start to unpack this fascinating topic. As you’ll soon discover, learned non-use and other concepts that occur in and around stroke or acquired brain injury are inter-relational. As Pete eludes to in the podcast, no 2 strokes or brain injuries are the same. Our engaging conversation is a great foundational episode as we define stroke and brain injury, discuss the 4 phases of stroke, the concept of too much too soon and the sweet spot of the subacute phase. There are some interesting implications for everyone – from those who provide care at any level for survivors, occupational and physical therapy practitioners, to the survivor’s and more. Please share your top takeaways!

LINKS TO ARTICLES, BOOKS AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

  1. Learned Non-Use Article: Barth, J., Geed, S., Mitchell, A., Lum, P. S., Edwards, D. F., & Dromerick, A. W. (2020). Characterizing upper extremity motor behavior in the first week after stroke. PloS one15(8), e0221668. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0221668
  1. V S Ramachandran and his work with mirror therapy: http://cbc.ucsd.edu/ramabio.html  
  1. The Brain That Changes Itself by Normal Doidge, MD https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/291041/the-brain-that-changes-itself-by-norman-doidge-md/
  2. Documentary – The Brain That Changes Itself https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIdWFuuZaxw
  3. The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force by Jeffrey Schwartz https://jeffreymschwartz.com/
  4. The Brain Science Podcast - https://brainsciencepodcast.com/

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“Soft Inspiration“ by Scott Holmes/Scott Holmes Music/scottholmesmusic.com

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