Neurological rehabilitation – recommendations for your TV watchlist

For some people, lockdown is proving an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and develop their knowledge. When it comes to understanding more about how brain and spinal injury, neurological conditions and rehabilitation can affect people, the following documentaries provide detailed insight.

Here’s an overview of a range of fascinating content to enjoy over the next few weeks.

Dementia, Football and Me with Alan Shearer

BBC, 2017, 1 hour

In this BBC document, footballing legend Alan Shearer meets former players and the families of those affected by dementia- and the possible link to the beautiful game. “As someone who played the game for 20 years, and sometimes headed the ball up to 100 times a day in training, I knew that if there was a danger, then I was one of those who could be at risk.” In the documentary, Alan undergoes an MRI scan on his brain’s chemical and structural detail at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

My Beautiful Broken Brain

Netflix UK, 2016, 1 hour 24

Digital Producer Lotje Sodderland suffered a stroke aged 34. Documenting her struggles, setbacks and rehabilitation over hundreds of hours of iPhone video recordings, we see Lotje learn to speak, read and write. My Beautiful Broken Brain is a fascinating and engaging sensory journey of recovery.

A Different Brain with Louis Theroux

BBC, 2016, 59 minutes

In this BBC documentary, Louis looks at the issues faced by some of the estimated one million people in the UK living with the long-term effects of a brain injury.

Spending time at a Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust residential service, Louis speaks to staff, residents and family members about coming to terms with a life-changing injury.

Rob Burrow: My Year With MND

BBC, 2020, 29 mins

Rugby League star Rob Burrow was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019. During this moving documentary, the former Leeds Rhinos player talks about his condition and his determination to live as normal a life as possible.

Any One Of Us

Red Bull Media House, 2019, 1 hr 24

In 2015, professional mountain biker Paul Basagoitia suffered a burst fracture in his T12 vertebra during a 1,000-vertical mountain descent as part of the Red Bull Rampage in Utah, USA. Paul decided to document his time in hospital, and his subsequent painstaking recovery on video, later developed into a documentary. Any One of Us won a Sports Emmy in 2020.

Brain Surgeons: Between Life and Death

Channel 4, 2020, 29 mins

A two-part miniseries follows patients undergoing complex life-changing brain surgery at Southampton’s Neurological Centre, where surgeons carry out some of the country’s most challenging and complex operations. With patients undergoing surgery while awake so surgeons can map their brain, and programmes show how our understanding of the brain is enhanced by technology and reveals the impact of surgery on families and individuals.


More information

Are you looking for a great new book? Check out Six Great Reads – Life After Brain Injury – for more ideas.

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