According to ABC News, in the 10 months since a bullet to the brain left her in critical condition, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords has relearned how to talk — a feat partly credited to music therapy.
Giffords suffered from aphasia — the inability to speak because of damage to the language pathways in her brain’s left hemisphere. But by layering words on top of melody and rhythm, she trained her brain to use a less-traveled pathway to the same destination.
“Music is that other road to get back to language,” said Meaghan Morrow, Giffords’ music therapist and a certified brain injury specialist at TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital in Houston. Morrow compared the process to a freeway detour. “You aren’t able to go forward on that pathway anymore,” she said, but “you can exit and go around, and get to where you need to go.”
According to Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, associate professor of neurology and director of the Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School: “The brain’s ability to pave new pathways around damaged areas is called neuroplasticity. An adult can relearn to speak — with the right training and a lot of practice.”able to go forward on that pathway anymore,” she said, but “you can exit and go around, and get to where you need to go.”
Read more about this on ABCNews.com
Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA. A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association. Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine. Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.