Lisa Lange, MPT, Certified Brain Specialist (CBIS) talks about Brain Awareness Week
This week is Brain Awareness Week, which is a global campaign designed to raise awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. Brain research has led to breakthroughs for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke and other neurologic conditions..
“Your brain controls all of your bodily functions, movement, cognition, sensation and emotion,” said Lisa Lange, MPT, Certified Brain Specialist (CBIS). “If an injury occurs to any part of your brain, you can be affected in a variety of ways. Brain health is vital, and your brain needs to be taken care of—just like any other part of your body.”
During brain awareness week, clinicians remind us that we can promote brain health by: getting proper sleep and nutrition, wearing protective gear, socializing and engaging in cognitive activities.
“Research shows that exercising regularly is also important. It helps diminish chemicals that make you feel stressed and anxious,” said Lisa. “Physical activity can improve your short and long-term memory as well as your ability to focus.”
Despite the best intentions to promote brain health, a neurologic condition may arise at any time and at any age. Bacharach recently opened the James Klinghoffer Neurorecovery Center, which showcases state-of-the-art robotic equipment used to treat a variety of neurological conditions.
“Robotic technologies provide repetitive, physiologically correct movements which help physical therapists to provide patients with more effective and cutting-edge treatment on their road to recovery,” said Lisa. “There is no other hospital in South Jersey that has all of these robots in one setting.”
Lisa Lange learning to use the Lokomat during training
Lisa was one of the first therapists to train on the Lokomat Pro, a robot that helps patients relearn how to walk. “There was been a lot of enthusiasm about the robots and patients are eager to try them,” said Lisa. “I recently had a patient who suffered a stroke try the Lokomat Pro for the first time and she said the robot ‘gave me the sensation of normal movement; I really felt like I could walk again.’”
The Lokomat Pro has quickly become a great tool for Bacharach’s therapists. A harness ensures patients are secured and won’t fall and allows the therapist to take a step back to observe the patient’s gait pattern. Therapists are able to use the computer system to make adjustments that help patients have a normalized gait pattern.
“Once a patient has had a couple sessions with the robots you can start to challenge them,” said Lisa. “You can have them start to bear more of their own weight, play games and more. Working with the robots involves a lot of problem solving skills because you have to be able to find the correct settings to normalize their movement.”
Lisa experiences the Lokomat for the first time.