News & Story Ideas
The overarching goal of Dr. Pascual-Leone's research is understanding the mechanisms that control brain plasticity across the life span to be able to modify them for the patient's optimal outcome. He explains how research into neuroplasticity may soon help prevent age-related cognitive decline, reduce the risk for dementia, and minimize the impact of developmental disorders such as autism.
According to ClinicalTrials.gov, the number of registered clinical studies on cognitive training has grown to over 140 this year, up from 30 in 2013 and just 3 in 2005. Yet there have been few efforts to establish plasticity-based interventions as prescribable therapies. Dr. Pascual-Leone describes some of the first such therapies that he helped pioneer.
Dr. Pascual-Leone's research is behind NovaVision Vision Restoration Therapy, a system developed by Vycor Medical, Inc. and cleared by the FDA to help people with certain kinds of blindness partially recover sight. He explains how neuroplasticity makes it possible for the brain to expand connections and “redirect traffic.” “By training people to detect and perceive stimuli in the border zone of an area of blindness, you can make the area of blindness smaller by opening up those connections in the brain,” he says.
Dr. Pascual-Leone explains the workings of NeuroEyeCoach, a complementary therapy to Vycor’s NovaVision and Sight Science Neuro-Eye Therapy. NeuroEyeCoach re-trains the ability of a patient to move their eyes, re-integrate left and right vision, and make the most of their remaining visual field.
For centuries medical science thought the brain was fixed and unchangeable. Thanks to a recent explosion of research into neuroplasticity, the pendulum has swung towards hopes that brain therapies will become a cure-all. Dr. Pascual-Leone discusses how neuroplasticity has brought about a paradigm shift and puts it in context of past scientific revolutions.
The central nervous system is relevant not only to neurological and psychiatric illness but all diseases and disorders. Dr. Pascual-Leone explains how neuroplasticity allows the brain and body to learn, adapt, and cope with change.
Dr. Pascual-Leone describes how neuroplasticity research is creating new hope for treating aging related losses of cognitive ability and diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Researchers are studying how cognitive training, tai chi, yoga and “game-based interventions” can leverage plasticity and promote health and wellbeing. Dr. Pascual-Leone explains how.
From robot-assisted physical therapy to brain stimulation for stroke victims, Dr. Pascual-Leone explains how cutting edge technology is being used to promote, enhance, and speed up recovery and restoration of lost function.
Researchers have yet to discover the limits of healing through neuroplasticity, but they know that brain guidance beneficial to one person may be detrimental to another. Dr. Pascual-Leone discusses why treatments must be backed by science and prescribed to the individual.
Our understanding of neuroplasticity continues to grow as studies explore how brain training can lead to better outcomes for people suffering from various neurological disorders. Dr. Pascual-Leone discusses the promise of neuroplasticity treatments for conditions such as epilepsy, stroke, chronic pain, and drug resistant depression.
Dr. Pascual-Leone offers guidance and principles for those considering self-directed activities and exercises designed to engage neuroplasticity.