For centuries the human brain has been thought of as incapable of fundamental change. People suffering from neurological defects, brain damage or strokes were usually written-off as hopeless cases. But recent and continuing research into the human brain is radically changing how we look at the potential for neurological recovery. The human brain, as we are now quickly learning, has a remarkable ability to change itself – in fact, even to rewire itself. The Brain that Changes Itself, based on the best-selling book by Toronto psychiatrist and researcher Dr. Norman Doidge, presents a strong case for reconsidering how we view the human mind. Dr. Norman Doidge travels across North America to meet some of the pioneering researchers who made revolutionary discoveries about the plasticity of the human brain. He also visits with the people who have been most affected by this research – the patients whose lives have been forever changed – people once thought of as incurable who are now living normal lives.
Known in scientific circles as “neuroplasticity,” this radical new approach to the brain provides an incredible way to bring the human brain back to life. Some of the cases that we meet are:
- Roger Behm, a blind man who is now able to see via his tongue (and can throw a basketball into a garbage can to prove it).
- Cheryl Schiltz, who was written-off by doctors when she lost her sense of balance due to a drug's side effect. Once sentenced to a lifetime of wobbling, her brain rewired itself through a seemingly simple therapy, and has now regained her balance and returned to a normal life.
- Michelle Mack, one of the greatest examples of the brain's ability to adapt: she was born, literally, with just half of her brain.
- Michael Bernstein, who suffered a debilitating stroke in the prime of his life, paralyzing the left side of his body. He's now back to his former life, as his brain functions have been rerouted and re-invigorated.