The brains of children with neurological disorders seems to exhibit signs of neuroplastic changes, suggesting compensatory mechanisms for the disorder. This result opens up the possibility that brain training may be useful to help these patients control their symptoms.
The disorder studied was Tourette syndrome (TS), which usually become evident in early childhood or adolescence before the age of 18 years. The symptoms are involuntary movements (tics) as well as verbal tics or vocalizations. These tics are frequent, repetitive and rapid. Most cases of TS are mild and people lead productive lives.
Participants in the study (average age of 14) performed a motor task with high levels of manual conflict (they had to obey instructions such as press a left key in response to an arrow pointing to the right and vice-versa). Children with TS were much faster than control children (without TS) in such a task. This supports the idea that children with TS have more control over motor activity in general, due to the constant requirement to suppress their tics. [Read more…] about Neuroplasticity in the Brain of Children with Neurological Disorders