Tag Archives: brain injury

Reversing Effects of Brain Damage through Game Play

A truly unbelievable email arrived in the ThinkFun inbox the other day. Liane suffered extensive brain damage, was even declared dead at one point, and had to relearn to speak and walk. Here she shares how a simple game played a vital role in her incredible recovery – grab a Kleenex before you dive into this one!

 

To Whom It May Concern:

I was misdiagnosed by a doctor as having Dystonia in 2005. This is similar to Parkinson’s. I was put on Parkinson’s meds when I was not even ill. As a result the meds killed me. I was dead long enough to be declared dead. I sustained extensive Brain Damage because I was gone too long. I eventually woke up, but I had terrible Brain Damage.

I had to relearn my vocabulary by reading the Dictionary and Thesaurus. I had to go to Physical Therapy to learn how to walk again. I had to learn how to speak again. My hand strength was low and I had to only interact with things I could easily grip with a loose hand grip and not drop as my hand strength was weak.

I read on the Internet that if you stimulate the brain, it will grow new Neural Paths and Dendrites around the dread brain cells. You can never grow or create new brain cells. You can never repair dead or damaged brain cells. BUT you can stimulate the brain AND the brain will respond by reaching out to grow around the dead around those dead areas and make those connections again. It took me two years of brain stimulation for my brain tests at UCLA to register as 0% Brain Damage. It does work.

Shape 5941 HiResSpill 300x300 Reversing Effects of Brain Damage through Game Play
I used your product Shape by Shape as part of my daily regimen I had in place to help me recover. I did the puzzles every day to stimulate my brain and bring it back. I did other things too, but the puzzle was a part of my daily routine to help me recover.

I showed the puzzle to my doctors to UCLA. They were surprised that I thought to use it for recovery, but they said it makes sense that it helped me. I recommend it to people who have had a stroke, neurological damage or some sort of brain damage. My brain damage was due to oxygen deprivation as my heart and lungs stopped and I was declared dead.

I wanted to let you know about the expanded use of your product so you can promote them to doctors, hospitals, clinics, charities, support groups, etc. that are involved with stroke victims, neurological illnesses, oxygen deprivation brain damage (swimming pool accidents, drowning accidents, accidental drug overdose, etc.).

Your puzzles also have value to fight off Alzheimer’s Disease. It is vital we do new things, learn new tasks, keep our brain engages, keep our brain learning, exercise our brain throughout our life in order to keep back the tide of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The large pieces make it easy to pick up and hold them when you have weak hand strength and lack dexterity as an elderly person, a stroke victim or a brain damage patient in recovery. The large 3D pieces help with the work on hand eye coordination that must be done in recovery. This is an advantage over a video game. A video game does not challenge me for hand eye coordination, hand strength or dexterity the way an actual puzzle does. The physical puzzle has more value.

I just wanted to let you know there are more uses for your products than you ever suspected. Please expand your marketing to included patients. Other people can benefit past me. I just happened to see your puzzle in Barnes and Noble. I picked it up out of desperation to find a way to heal my brain. I didn’t know if it would work, but it did work.

The doctors told me, “You will walk with a cane the rest of your life.” I do not walk with a cane anymore, and I don’t fall over anymore. I was told, “You will never have clear speech.” Today, I speak just fine. I can speak and my voice is clear. My words are not garbled. I am understood. My memory is improved. Everything is improved.

My brain testing at UCLA Hospital two years later revealed 0% brain damage. Everything was gone. The doctors were impressed!!!!

Please consider expanding your marketing and sales to the medical field. People can benefit from your products. Thanks so much for making such fabulous products. You really helped me a great deal.

Liane T.

Westminster, California

 

Read another amazing story from a woman in Alaska who used ThinkFun games to recover from traumatic brain injury – a 2nd box of Kleenex may be necessary!

15 Puzzle Aids in Stroke Recovery

An incredible email we recently received from a stroke survivor – We are thrilled to hear our game is helping in his recovery and has earned a place in his family’s Earthquake Kit!

Dear ThinkFun,

Thank you for inventing the “Fifteen Puzzle” game.

As a 5-yr stroke survivor I find this, aided by other physiotherapy, continues to help.  It is a game that I enjoy because it is quiet and does not disturb or distract others; and does not require batteries.

I had a similar game when I was younger, about 60 years ago.  I have been looking for a similar one to my childhood one – lost long ago.  Your Fifteen Puzzle is the closest.

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Planning for a recently completed, lengthy airliner trip and boat cruise prompted my efforts to again locate such a toy game that would keep me 1) amused, 2) my mind active.

I don’t where we ‘found’ and bought your puzzle game, but have had it for more than a few years now.  I do enjoy playing it and when its not out being used I keep it as part of our family earthquake kit along with a deck of playing cards.

Keep up the good work with your other toy distribution!

Using Games to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury

An incredible letter recently made its way to my desk.  A woman in Alaska wrote to share a remarkable story, one that reaffirms the brain building (and in some ways even life-saving!) power of play and reminds us that the games we create can do powerful things.

Her letter gave me chills!rush hour brain injury Page 1 791x1024 Using Games to Treat Traumatic Brain Injuryrush hour brain injury Page 2 791x1024 Using Games to Treat Traumatic Brain InjuryThis isn’t the first we’ve heard about our games, particularly Rush Hour, being used to treat patients with brain injuries.  Over the years we have heard from many therapists who use our games to help patients rebuild cognitive and fine motor skills, and Rush Hour was recently featured in an NBC Nightly News segment on treating returning veterans with brain injuries.  We are eager to explore how we can continue to create games that support the incredible work these doctors are doing!

(Check out Rush Hour’s cameo at 00:38)

Are you a therapist or patient who has used games as part of your treatment?  Please share your story!