A recent AP article reported that Representative Gabrielle Giffords was walking while holding onto a cart, mouthing the lyrics to easy songs and having simple conversations. These new developments are truly remarkable, yet are also somewhat typical of the way many brain trauma patients recover.

We often find that patients will respond to music quicker and will recover the ability to sing before recovering speech. This is thought to be because of the more primitive and emotional parts of our brains have ancient connections to the auditory cortex. I encourage people who are brain-injured to listen to music as part of the rehabilitation process.  I think overall her pace of recovery is fantastic and she should be expected to make progress for the next 1-2 years and beyond (especailly with her obviously motivated personality).