How computer games can help repair brain lesion

Brain lesion

I had a brain lesion about 16 years ago.  The word lesion is really a general medical jargon word.  What I had was basically bleeding in the brain from capillary telangiectasia or a cavernous malformation. The result was I had memory and brain processing problems. I still functioned at a rather high cognitive level, however, in addition to horrible daily pain, I had trouble with my working memory and other things. The cause of this brain lesion was never known, but I suspect it was something like a birthmark, something incidental that became symptomatic though a series of of events. The lesion was serious because of it was located in my brain.

Brain rehabilitation

I followed a standard rehabilitation of my memory, working at a local university that did studies on brain lesions and brain rehabilitation. These were cognitive drills and exercises with students who studied my progress. These helped, and were precise and targeted; however, I made a huge breakthrough when I started to play computer games. The real world was too complex for me, at that juncture. Too many variables. However, computer games were a place I could do similar cognitive drills like I did at the university, however, on the computer in the sanctuary of my flat.

Brain rehabilitation software

Actually I first I started with software that was specific to memory improvement and brain rehabilitation. But latter I realized that the brain functions as a whole. When I started to play complex games, even which could be said to focus on other specific skills than I needed, my brain was stimulated. My brain improved as a whole. Thus was the start of the ‘computer game obsession time’ in my life. I played everything until the wee hours of the morning, from memory and puzzle games, to quick reflex and strategy games. I remember when I beat the game Civilization at the highest level, something that few people can do, I felt I could conquer the world and my brain rehabilitation was over.

Computer games and my brain

Computer games and computers are wonderful tools for your brain to interact with. Computer games are eons more complex and stimulating, than the simple rehabilitation lessons I had at the University, minus the pretty students testing me. The designers of computer games designed the games to be plugged into the pleasure centers of your brain.

My testament to the benefit of computer games on your brain

I am convinced anyone can change and improve their brain, whether you have had a brain lesion or not. The brain by design is malleable. I do not have to read a study about it out wait until some PhD or expert tells me so, I have experienced it for myself.

From computer games to language learning software

After my conquest of computer games as manifest by my repeated victories on the game Civilization and other similar games, I moved to more normal and perhaps useful pursuits for brain stimulation like learning languages. It was from my progress with computer games, I  got inspiration to create a computer software program for learning languages. Instead of sitting in a classroom or reading a book, you could interact in a multimedia computer format and learn languages.

Brain lesion

I am no expert on brain lesions, however, if anyone is in a similar situation, you can write me and I can tell you what helped for me. Now I am fine, perhaps better than I ever have been. Thank God.

20 Replies to “How computer games can help repair brain lesion”

  1. Yes I am really ok. I function at a high cogitive level. If anyone does not believe me I can 1) Show you the countless MRIs of my lesions. … then 2) if you do not believe that games helped my brain, I can play you in chess, I can most likely beat you easy in a few minutes (on pogo my nick is Bostonmark123 I am at an expert rating). Unless your are pro I will win most of the time. And even if you are a pro I stand a chance. And if you still do not believe me that my brain is ok, I can speak Polish with you, a hard language to learn, which I learned as an adult, after my lesion. I make this site. polishgrammar.com also this site mp3languagelearning.com How many people do you know taught themselves to speak Polish, or any other hard language like Arabic or Russian?

    The main thing is this: Do not worry. Healing is never linear, rather its up and down in waves. It took me time. It was very frustrating. Many times I wanted to give up. But for me I said this: If this is what God has given me, this is what God has given me. “Thy will be done”. This is how I will glorify God with whatever God gives me. Think of the story of Job in the bible.

    The word ‘should’. There are no ‘shoulds’. Should is a bad word. Should is like Sh-t. Sorry. Do the things you are totally into. Not things that you should do. Do not listen to the pessimists or experts, they will only bring you down. They will tell you about limits rather than motivate you. Look, I am not a supernaturalist, and I do not believe in anything that violates the laws of nature, I do not believe in, anything that is not in mainstream science, but trust me, with a little faith and patience you can one day say to the mountain, “move” and it will move.

    Also science changes so much, in scientific revolutions, rather than increments, so you never know what is around the corner. So do not give up.

    I love computer games. So I was able to plug into computer games. The reason computer games are good for your brain is they merge rehab and normal life. You play games not to improve brain function, but just for fun, but your brain gets better anyway. You do not define yourself as helping your brain, rather you are playing for fun. Whilst rehab is all about reminding yourself your brain needs help.

    I played for 100s of hours a month. I was even without work for a while but played all day, maybe sending 1 or 2 CVs out at lunch. I played chess on pogo .com for sometimes 10 hours a day. But you can find other games on pogo you might like. I played Civilization II as I love this type of world strategy game until I beat it at every level. But if you are not into it, do not play it. Rehab is boring and is filled with shoulds. Games are fun. Games you do not think about your brain problem. Rehab you do. You can measure your level and advancement objectively and as long as your brain is engaged your brain functions as a whole and will improve. Fact. It will build your confidence and pump your neurons. If your problem is reading and writing you might want to find something that is more semantic. But these are the games I played to improve my brain.
    Pogo games
    Civilization
    Tetris
    Professor Fizzwizzle (It is great)
    Thinkfast (no longer arround)
    Chess (People will say its develops only one part of your brain I disagree. Its the king of all games, it uses memory, logic, social skills etc)
    Chating is great for writing and reading. I even started to chat in Polish when I was learning Polish.
    This is a start , I need to create a better list. Basically you have to love the game or it becomes a should.
    Main thing, is do not worry and think about what I said about the mountain.

    1. Hello. My name is Shannon. I am a 43 yr old single mother of two young daughters. About 2.5 years ago I started having seizures. I was rushed to the hospital where they found a cavernous malformation on my brain. I had surgery to remove the malformation & two weeks later had to get back to have fluid build up on my brain ‘sucked out’.
      I recently lost my job due to lack of ability to perform & was approved for disability about a week ago.
      Whew. Has it been a ride for me & my family. They have all been very supportive. I am blessed there. I am going to try some computer games & try to build my cognitive ability. I have to. I have to go back to work for my mental stability.
      It’s been depressing for me. I am a very independent woman. Thank you for your information. I’ll let you know how I progress.
      Shannon

      1. The main thing is do not give up. Did you see the movie Limitless? I recommend it. You never know what the future holds. There will be stem cells and things that will enhance brain growth safely. Believe me the future is only bright with this research. It may take time.

        A brain problem seems like a nightmare you can not wake up from. If you do not have it, it is hard to understand. The good news is you can wake up, you can heal from a brain injury maybe better than you ever were.

        However, I have known several people with all kinds brain injuries and problems that have fully recovered. But it takes years. Not 1 year but like 10 years ok?

        Be patient with yourself. Please write me and I can give you a lot of advice.

        I love professor Professor Fizzwizzle Molton Mystery, chess but also other games. I think diet is important also, I personally think fish and greens is one of the best diets out there etc. But I think you know all that. Depending on your money, there are a lot of supplements that help. But not things that jazz up your cognitive function, but things that support healing.

        Look your brain will heal. It is very vascular and can reroute pretty easy as your young age of 43. Also there is a lot of redundancy built-in, especially with the female brain because females are in charge of making sure the human race continues, so nature makes it more built for recovery. Your brain will heal with time, but if you can support it by engaging it in things you like. If you can travel do it. Any new experience is stimulating for the brain.

        Walking is great for the blood flow. Seems simple but it is true. The main thing is if you are depressed, know it is like a rainy day, it will pass and some days are good days and some days are bad days. But eventually in years you will get better and maybe better than ever.

        Try image streaming from Win Wenger’s website. It is a wonderful time in your life because you get to rebuild who you are. It will take patience and work but you can do it. Write me as much as you want and can give you ideas on brain repair. Hey if you want I can help you start a blog about it if you like. But if you did nothing but computer games, it would work, and this is a fun task. See it like a vacation from your life.

  2. Hi. My husband is going through a simliar ordeal–he has an undiagnosed neurological disorder which is making reading, emailing, cognition processing difficult that include lesions on the brain. He’s doing IM therapy but it’s going really slowly. I feel so bad about this for him…can you please email me the name of the games you used? You really are okay now? He really needs some encouragement. Thank you!

  3. Thank you – I am a 34 model who has just been told (3 months ago) that I have lesions on my brain – Symptoms are Still neck / burn on spine, so if you have guessed Probable MS, then you were right! I have been in a rut for 3 months…simply depressed, However I am also an 80’s girl who LOVES Tetris so thank you for sharing your story! I have been telling myself that there has to be away to shrink these things or get rid of them.

    THANK YOU!

  4. @Karen, Just remember that when it comes to neurology, breakthroughs are coming at leaps and bounds, so do not lose hope. There is always hope. The people I know with MS got benefit from various DHA – essential oils, but I think you know this, and exercises with the brain and body. I am a pomegranate fanatic, I think there is some sort of super anti oxidant in fresh pomegranate juice that helps the brain. claritaslux.com/blog/pomegranate-juice-beneficial-boosting-memory/
    About being depressed well, I just said, if this is what God wants of me, this is what God wants. Kinda fatalistic but I believe like the story of Job that many times we are tested and tried only to have a better life latter. Which I do.
    Regarding being a 80s person, me too, ok maybe 70s a little too, it was a great time. Thanks for your comments regarding how computer games helped repair my brain lesion.

  5. My girlfriend was recently diagnosed with brain lesions, and experiences numbness and tingling sensation on her leg and arm from time to time, it’s not constant but it’s there. She also sees spots on a momentary basis. I’ve been on her case about eating, but she’s had a lack of appetite, aside from pomegranate juices, is there anything else that you’ve discovered that may have helped in your recovery process?… They have not made a final determination as to what the lesions could be, might be migranes, but I’m trying to push her to eat more, since birds eat more then she does.

    Congratulations on your recovery.

  6. @researchinglesions It is very important to know what the cause is. The term brain lesion is a general term. What does the MRI show and what region of the brain is the lesion in? I am not a doctor nor do I pretend to be, but I had a decade plus personal experience with a brain lesion so I know something. I think the first thing is 1) What is going on in the physical brain and is it stable? 2) What is the cause? There are many things that can help and many things that have no affect. I have tried most. But I would need to know how the physical brain has changed (is changing) before I can understand any of the symptoms.

  7. @Johnny, if you have a brain lesion and MRI should show it. I could see the brain lesion on an MRI. If nothing is seen it is sub clinical but does not mean it does not exist. But if you can not see it on an MRI that is a good thing, it means its small. If you think you have problems with cognitive process try to find out why. There could be a 1000 reasons. Diagnosis is important. But generally I found there are no wonder drugs yet to regenerate your brains…yet. But the good news there is something else. They say ‘time heals all wounds’, well its true you know. With a lot of patience and time, and especially if you 1) work with computer games or cognitive drills and 2) have a balanced diet exercise and 3) experiment on your own what works for you – for me Phosphatidylserine (PS) and omega-3 plus, trying lion’s mane, but for perhaps the most innocent effective thing for me that worked was pomegranate. I could not believe it myself. Now all these things do not repair your brain. Cognitive exercises in specific ways will make your brain repair itself, but things being on a nutrient rich ‘brain diet’ might help support the brain during its long repair process.

  8. About computer games for my brain this is what I found out. There are some specific ones like ‘brainbuilder’ or free ones like an old games called “thinkfast” its on the web somewhere, the original thinkfast was very good, but what I recommend the most is, a game you really love. If you love it you will be obsessed with it. For me it is chess. I play online. I can play this for hours a day. If the games are fun you will play it and if you play it and stretch your brain. I do not meet too many chess players with brain problems.

  9. Hello Everyone,

    I am currently dealing with memory issues and logical processing issues. I am going crazy finding doctors, supplements, and anything else that may help me “regenerate my brain.” Although I do not have any concrete proof of this, I am convinced that I may have brain lesions in parts of my brain dedicated to short and long-term memory. If anyone can offer any help or advice, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    John

  10. hello, I was just wondering about your brain lesions. I was told 2 years ago I have 2 brain lesions. I was so sick for 3 months and then they got 30% better. After that no change at all. I am dizzy/weak and off balance. Just wondering if you have the same symtoms as me. Does your head feel like it weighs 100lbs? Heavy feeling?
    Thank you for your time
    Lisa

    1. What are you doing to help your brain lesion heal? Why do you have this lesion? Lesion is a very general term. You know I think about seven percent of the population have something like this and they are unaware of it. So it is more common than you think and many times not symptomatic.
      Yes my head feels heavy and I feel the same. But it all depends on where it is and why you have it and is it old or new, not the diagnosis but the actual thing in your brain. Does it have any calcium or anything around it.
      Ask any question you like.
      I would say it takes a lot of patience so take it easy and enjoy your life. Give yourself permission to live a little. I mean I moved to Europe and really trying to take it easy and enjoy my life.

  11. Mark, how many lesions do you have? I was told that I have 2 small white lesions on the back of my brain. The doctor said they are in a spot that controls allot in my body, my eyes, my left arm and I am heavy headed and off balance. I just don’t understand why they can’t do anything and I have to live like this for the rest of my life. It gets to me sometimes!

  12. I am one year post-Viral Encephalitis, which left me with an acquired brain injury. As soon as I came home from 5 weeks in the hospital, I began playing computer scrabble (not well at first). Then, I joined Lumisoty.com, which has dozens of brain games for a variety of cognitive issues: multi-tasking, focus/attention, verbal fluency, etc. I am beginning therapy soon where they will use the Interactive Metronome to help further improve my cognitive deficits. However, I will continue to play computer games knowing that not only are they free, but they work to help improve these critical cognitive skills.

    1. Judy, thank you for writing this. I know how hard a brain problem is. Someday are better than others. However, with time. I do not mean weeks but years it can be healed. I think fully. You just have to be patient and not give up.
      If you want to try something simple to help your brain, blend a box of frozen blueberries as a smoothy. I think the rich nutrients in blueberries do help. You can research it yourself.
      But computer games a lot will do it.
      I use pogo.com for example.

      1. I am going to try the box of frozen blueberries! I hope that can help my lesions! Thanks Mark!

        1. I buy mine at a wholesale club and they are the wold ones. Organic would be best but can not afford it. If you go to Wholefoods and add pomegranate powder and something like chia seeds or anything with Essential fatty acids, lots of seeds even hemp or flax, it helps also. I think with brain lesions you could also look into stem cells in the future. Stem cells are the future.

  13. I also have brain lesions and my memory and concentration are absolutely awful. I get so depressed because I know I am a different person to who I was when I was younger. I feel that people think I am stupid, not very intelligent and often ignore me when talking in a group. I tend to laugh and make fun of myself but deep down, I’m really sad 🙁

    Linda

    1. Have you looked into stem cells? I am talking about the stem cells from your own body, not fetal. I recommend try drinking a few glasses of pure pomegranate juice a day also fresh made blueberry smoothies. Try image streaming by Win Wenger or Luminosity – but I think start simple and drink a bottle of pomegranate a day and exercises and play computer games and in a year you will see your progress. The brain is can rebuild, trust me.

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