“This has 100% changed my life”: brain training has stroke survivors talking again


"It’s almost like they come alive. They stand taller, they’re more confident, they want to take on life."

VIENNA, Va. (WDVM) — It’s been called a best-kept secret, and it’s often mistaken for tutoring. Executive Director of Learning Rx Maureen Loftus says her organization isn’t a training center; it’s a “brain training” center. Instead of focusing on one weakness, Learning Rx focuses on the entire brain.

Brain training is a series of intensive mental exercises to make learning easier. While the puzzles can be difficult for anyone to tackle, Learning Rx’s services are especially geared toward those with ADHD, dyslexia, memory loss, and learning disabilities.

It’s also geared toward survivors of traumatic brain injuries, like Chris Vincent, who goes to Learning Rx three times a week for an hour and a half.

“I was a firefighter and people had to help me through basically everything,” said Vincent, who isn’t sure how he got his brain injury. After either a stroke or car accident, Vincent says he was comatose and needed full-time care for more than six months.

Since starting at Learning Rx about three years ago, Vincent says his memory has tripled. When he started the exercises, he only knew about 100 words. “This has 100 percent changed my life,” said Vincent.

“We’re going to focus two-thirds of our time on their weaknesses, and a third of our time on their strengths, then gradually close that gap between the strengths and weaknesses and make the brain so much more balanced,” said Loftus.

Loftus’ interest in brain training began with her daughter, who was kicked out of preschool at 2-years-old. “I was told when she was six that she would never learn anything academic,” said Loftus. Thanks to brain training, Loftus says she’s since graduated high school and will be able to live independently one day.

“It’s almost like they come alive,” said Loftus. ‘They stand taller, they’re more confident, they want to take on life. What’s more rewarding than giving someone that potential?”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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