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Gabrielle Giffords Brain Injury: Doctors Work To Help Giffords’ Brain Rewire Itself

AP/The Huffington Post First Posted: 02/14/11 02:26 AM Updated: 02/14/11 10:30 AM

NEW YORK — Compared to a sleek new laptop, that three-pound mass of fatty tissue called the brain may not look like much. But when it’s injured, it adapts and rewires its circuits in new ways.

That’s the kind of flexibility that doctors and rehabilitation specialists hope to encourage in Gabrielle Giffords, the brain-injured Arizona congresswoman.

Details about her recovery have been thin. But members of her staff say she recently began speaking for the first time since the Jan. 8 attack by a gunman in Tucson. Brain injury patients who regain speech typically begin to do that about four to six weeks after the injury, experts say.

Last week, the Congresswoman asked for toast while while having breakfast, her chief of staff told the “CBS Evening News.” That was within a month of being shot in the head. The Houston Chronicle noted that doctors at TIRR Memorial Hermann have used the phrase “lightning speed” to describe her recovery thus far.

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