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Rep. Giffords Moved to Rehab Facility
Date:1/26/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was moved to a rehabilitation center in Houston Wednesday morning after her doctors upgraded her condition to good from serious Tuesday night, another step in her remarkable recovery from a gunshot wound to the brain.

Giffords' physicians at Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center determined that she could be moved to nearby TIRR Memorial Hermann, where her rehabilitation will begin, the Associated Press reported.

Giffords had been in intensive care since her transfer Friday to the Houston hospital from Tucson, where she had been hospitalized since the Jan. 8 shooting that left six people dead and 12 people wounded.

A buildup of fluid in her brain that concerned doctors over the weekend had started to subside.

Giffords has been making surprisingly strong progress since she was shot in the head Jan. 8. Last week, her doctors at University Medical Center in Tucson highlighted signs of her continuing improvement -- she scrolled through an iPad, identified different colored objects and moved her lips. Still, they weren't sure if she was mouthing words, and they didn't know how well she can see, the AP reported.

The encouraging medical updates out of Tucson indicated that Giffords has a high level of motor and emotional function, experts say.

"The fact that she is able to communicate, that she is able to stand and walk, the fact that she is moving both hands is a good thing," said Dr. Kester Nedd, an associate professor of neurology and director of neuro-rehabilitation at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

"Motor function is a very strong predictor of outcome," he said. In addition, her ability to express emotion and interpret human interactions, which are some of the highest levels of cognitive function, means her chances of recovery are very good,
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