Two cutting-edge programs in neuroplasticity come together for a synergistic impact in brain health

Abilities Neurological Rehabilitation (ANR) is excited to announce a new, collaborative treatment program to help individuals in the Fraser Valley who are living with chronic physical and cognitive symptoms following brain injury. The collaboration will combine two innovative, evidence-based programs under one roof at the Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic.

We are excited to be bringing these disruptive, transformative neuro-technologies and cutting-edge programs together for the first time in one clinic."

Heather Branscombe, Clinical Director and CEO of Abilities Neurological Rehabilitation

The first program uses a revolutionary medical device called the PoNSTM (Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator), which is intended to treat chronic balance deficit resulting from traumatic brain injury or concussion. A small, paddle-shaped mouthpiece is held in the mouth and delivers a mild electrical current through the tongue to the brain. When paired with physical therapy, the PoNS device is thought to promote neuroplasticity, or the brain's ability to adapt, rewire and reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. The device has been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials and has been used successfully by the Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic for the last year.

The second is the ABI Wellness program, which is an innovative, interdisciplinary cognitive intervention program focused on improving higher order function (focus, attention, brain fog, memory, etc.) through a series of physical and cognitive exercises. This neuroplasticity-focused program has successfully helped individuals regain brain function following brain injury and resulting in a 77 per cent return to work rate and significant improvements in quality of life.

Objective clinical outcomes will be measured throughout the paired programs to track improvements using state-of-the-art technologies such as the NeuroCatch Platform - a neuro-physiological brain function assessment.

"Often times, people who suffer from chronic brain injuries don't have many options following traditional rehabilitation which usually focuses on the first two to three months of recovery and only one area of treatment at a time (brain function or physical function)," continues Branscombe. "Now, with the combined PoNS Treatment and ABI Wellness programs, we are able to offer innovative treatments for both cognitive and physical symptoms together, all under one roof, in collaboration with the Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic."

Following a brain injury, individuals can suffer from a wide range of symptoms. Sometimes these symptoms impact brain function (thinking, concentration, focus, or fatigue) or physical function (mobility, balance, dizziness). For many, there will be a mixture of both. After traditional rehabilitation, many patients continue to live with ongoing symptoms with limited treatment options, which often means living with a greatly reduced quality of life.

"We know that with the right combination of stimulation, challenge, and repetition, the brain can permanently rewire itself physically and functionally," says Sonia Brodie, VP Services at the Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic. "We are thrilled to be working with ANR to bring together these two transformative brain health innovations that are built on the principles of neuroplasticity, with the goal of helping the brain change and recover after injury, so we can positively impact and transform the lives of those suffering from chronic brain injuries and concussions."

This is especially exciting for a past client of ANR, Clayton Pelletier and his mother Janis.

"After Clayton's injury, he needed a significant amount of rehabilitation. Unfortunately, this care was not located in one place and required significant travel which was extremely challenging on both Clayton and his support team. Having a program like this under one roof will be a game-changer for people recovering from brain injury," says Janis Pelletier, mother of Clayton Pelletier and former client of ANR.

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