Last night, I spoke to a friend who happens to be an MD unrelated to neurology. Several years ago one of her sons developed a brain tumor in the cerebellum. After its removal from the cerebellum, he developed ataxia. She told me that he beat it by doing tons of exercise and physical therapy. Today the only remnant of his illness is that he cant ride a bike because of ill-balance. Is this age-related? (He was a teenager at the time,) Or cause-related? Does anyone know?
Neta, in this child's case, it sounds like he had ataxia-like symptoms from damage that resulted from the brain tumor, and his brain was able to repair itself over time as he recovered. Exercise and PT certainly helps to retrain the brain and rebuild connections. On the AVM group, we have heard many stories of kids doing remarkably well after traumatic brain events. Their brains are still developing, and they heal well. I expect there will be therapies in the future that will help adult brains heal better, too. Lots of research being done, and something will be of benefit, I'm sure.