Most of my 5 major concussions (where I was unconscious for half an hour or more, up to 2 hrs at age 7) occurred before I was poisoned at age 39. I was working at a horrendous job, and had a "nervous breakdown" and was referred to a doc for disability unemployment. What I got was 23 psych meds in 18 months by 12 different 'semi-retired' psychiatrists. Every time I got worse from a med, a new doc would try his favorite on me. I suffered severe brain damage, going from a "gifted" IQ of about 145, to a "let's instititionalize him" IQ of about 65.
I withdrew from the medical system for the most part and began a "self-directed rehabilitation program"; just doing what it took to improve what i had lost: counting, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, knitting, etc., to 'reboot' my brain. I was tested formally by a Cognitive Psychologist 5 yrs later and found to have substantial losses in all areas of recall (except for significant losses in 'Retained Learning'), Spatial Manipulation, Math, and 'Administrative Cognitive Functions'. It is a miracle I survived on my own, mostly by the retention of my Verbal Abilities and my innate drive and determination to persist and prevail. My scores ranged from 85 to 100, where 100 is considered "normal".
In the 15 yrs following the damage, I regained another 15 points by dent of unflagging self-rehabilitation efforts, volunteering as a peer representative and attending the Rehabilitation Model Training as California changed it's Mental Health Services delivery system. There is no need to list the many challenges I encountered, the abuses by doctors and other caregivers for failing to be "compliant". In the end I am glad that I did it my way!
What i found that really made the difference in how well my brain recovered, it's Plasticity, was a auditory technology called Holosync. I was fortunate to get a grant to buy most of the program from an agency called CenterPointe. It is a series of CD's that you listen to with stereo headphones, and it feeds a different beat into each ear, which causes the brain to try to rebalance itself.
In the seven years that it took me to complete the course, i have regained another 20 IQ points! My obsessive thoughts and actions are gone; I have no panic attacks. I still have PTSD for authority figures and doctors in particular, but that is just sanity, from my experience!
I urge people to believe in the ability of the brain to reroute, reuse, retrain, rebuild, and generally rehab itself. And it doesn't hurt to have a little help.