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Neurological rehabilitation (rehab) helps people with diseases, injury, or disorders of the nervous system. It can often increase function, ease symptoms, and improve a person's well-being.
Many health problems can impair the nervous system. Some of the conditions that neurological rehab may help with include:
Vascular disorders, such as a stroke, bleeding in the brain, or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs)
Infections, such as meningitis, encephalitis, polio, and brain abscesses
Trauma, such as brain and spinal cord injury
Structural or neuromuscular disorders, such as Bell's palsy, cervical spondylosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, brain or spinal cord tumors, peripheral neuropathy (such as Guillain-Barre syndrome and nerve pain), muscular dystrophy, and myasthenia gravis, among others
Episodic disorders, such as headaches, seizures, and dizziness
Degenerative disorders, such as Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer disease, and Huntington chorea
Neurological rehab programs can be done in a hospital or on an outpatient basis. The neurological rehab team may include:
Other specialty healthcare providers
A neurological rehab program is designed to meet your individual needs, depending on your specific problem or disease. Active involvement of you and your family is vital to the success of the program.
The goal of neurological rehab is to help you return to the highest level of function and independence possible. At the same time, it looks to improve your overall quality of life—physically, emotionally, and socially.
To help reach these goals, the program may include:
Help with activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, bathing, using the bathroom, handwriting, cooking, and basic housekeeping
Speech therapy to help with speaking, reading, writing, or swallowing
Stress, anxiety, and depression management
Bladder and bowel retraining
Activities to improve movement, muscle control, walking, and balance
Exercise programs to improve movement, prevent or decrease weakness caused by lack of use, manage muscle spasms and pain, and maintain range of motion
Social and behavioral skills retraining
Involvement in community support groups
Activities to improve problems with concentration, attention, memory, and poor judgment
Help with obtaining and using assistive devices that promote independence
Education and counseling
Safety and independence measures and home care needs
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