Professor gives advice for brain injury recoveries

Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords moved Wednesday to a rehabilitation center after surviving an assassin’s bullet to the head, the latest development in an ongoing story that has captivated the nation since early January. Assistant professor Amy Overman offers insight into traumatic brain injuries and provides advice for patients’ families in the latest in a series of videos where Elon University faculty members share their research and classroom expertise.

Assistant professor Amy Overman

Overman, co-creator of the neuroscience minor at Elon and a faculty member in the Department of Psychology, explains that gunshot wounds to the head are rare compared to other traumas such as severe concussions, strokes and automobile accident injuries. Survivors, however, can often be hopeful, as research into the brain has revealed the ability for it to heal in ways once thought impossible.

A graduate of the doctoral program at the University of Pittsburgh and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Overman also gives tips to those whose loved ones are struggling to regain their former abilities: Namely, be patient, and realize there may be permanent changes.

Learn more about recovering from serious brain injuries by watching Overman’s recent interview with the Office of University Relations.

The office welcomes Elon University students and professors to nominate faculty for the video series. Email suggestions to Eric Townsend, director of the Elon University News Bureau, at