Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read Chapter 13 of the course text, and watch the What is a Stem Cell? and Brain Injury and the Remarkable Rebuilding of the Brain videos. These resources cover brain injury and repair.
In your discussion,
Analyze the clinical, biological, and psychological factors that are important in successful recovery of brain functions after brain damage.
How can the brain repair itself or restore lost function after traumatic brain injury (TBI) or other causes of brain damage?
Be sure to focus on the concept and mechanisms in neuroplasticity. The text lists ways that the brain can repair itself, but reminds us later in the chapter that in adults in most areas of the brain neurons cannot replicate (undergo mitosis in the process of neurogenesis) to replace lost/dead neurons. There are some areas of the brain, such as the hippocampus (which is responsible for formation of new memories), which are capable of neurogenesis, but in adults other areas of the brain must utilize neuroplasticity to restore lost function.
Discuss what clinical, biological, and psychological factors are important in successful brain function recovery outcomes.
What are some clinical interventions (e.g., medication, surgery, stem cell therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation techniques, and psychotherapy) that help facilitate the restoration of lost brain function?
Include information on brain structures, pathways, neurotransmitters/receptors, and psychological factors when discussing the topic areas above.
Additional emphasis should be placed on relating the underlying pathology of brain trauma and damage to the actual biological mechanisms of how various treatments support repair or restoration of function.
Also in your discussion, imagine you are in a career position that utilizes a degree in psychology. These may include, but are not limited to, careers such as a social worker, teacher or teachers aide, child care worker, psychiatric technician or other behavioral health staff, peer support specialist, social service specialist, probation or parole officer, case manager, human resources professional, rehabilitation of vocational counselor, or behavioral counselor.
How would your knowledge of the neurobiology of traumatic brain injury help you in your professional life?
How would this knowledge help you better assist your clients, students, or patients?
For instance, think of how this knowledge would help support reinforce the need for compliance with recommended treatments, or how to implement recommendations for modifications of the patients work or lifestyle to accommodate complications of brain injury.