The Brain Charity’s library has a number of books on the subject of ‘plasticity’ or ‘neuro-plasticity’ - the brain’s ability to heal and re-model itself. Plasticity means the ability to change.
In Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life, neuroscientist Dr Michael Merzenich explains how the brain changes over time, and how it can ‘re-wire’ itself through some serious ‘brain training’, strengthening connections in the brain and creating new connections, recovering and regaining lost abilities.
In The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, psychiatrist Dr Norman Doidge writes about neurologists and therapists applying techniques of neuro-plasticity, and the many people he’s met whose lives have been changed by these techniques.
Plus we also have a biography of the famous writer Roald Dahl, by none other than The Walton Centre’s Professor Tom Solomon entitled Roald Dahl's Marvellous Medicine. Not many people will know that Roald Dahl managed to recover from brain injury in the Second World War, or that many close members of his family had neurological problems.
Roald Dahl’s wife, the actress Patricia Neal, had a brain aneurysm causing a massive stroke. The effects of the stroke included aphasia (loss of language). So Roald Dahl organised their family and friends to help keep her working non-stop on intensive rehabilitation – just the kind of thing Dr Merzenich and Dr Doidge wrote about decades later. Through this process of plasticity and brain training, Patricia recovered her ability to walk and talk. She was even able to work as an actress again.