Thursday, December 08, 2016

Aphasia hits young people differently than seniors

Stories about aphasia speak to me.

And stories about young people - I was just 39 - who have had a stroke also interests me. Further - and play the audio at the bottom of this posting - music and aphasia intrigue me.

Now, those three items have come together in a story about as strokes become more common in younger population, intense programs to reteach speech grow:
“We are seeing more younger people with aphasia attending our program,” said Leora Cherney, the director of the Center for Aphasia Research and Treatment at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

'Give you a future filled with hope'

I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me.
Hope ever seem hopeless?

Personally, I'm a big fan of hope. But still, sometimes hope seems distant. Once, when people were in exile and hope seemed distant, this reminder came: "... they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope."

These verses stay with me for lots of reasons. I've run across it off and on in my life, which is not a big surprise. It's often-quoted. A couple of years ago, I had a small health scare (odd spot on a lung) that turned out to be nothing of note. A friend quoted one of these verses in response.

There are lots of thoughts these verses generate, but today, remember hope.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

More worrisome numbers about strokes striking the young

You've read about this concern here before: People designated as "older" Americans are seeing better numbers in stroke rates, while younger people are seeing a rise.

Now, we get some more solid statistics comparing the "Golden Generation" vs. "Generation X" with a finding of strokes decline in older Americans, rise in young:
"People born during what I call the 'Golden Generation,' 1945 to 1954, had lower rates of stroke than those born 20 years before them and also in the 20 years after them," said lead researcher Joel Swerdel. He is a Ph.D. candidate at the Rutgers University School of Public Health in New Jersey.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Moderation in drinking might be linked to stroke risk reduction

One of the repeated themes you'll see here: moderation.

And here's one more reason to repeat it - researchers might link a little alcohol each day to cut your stroke risk:
A research team from England and Sweden reviewed 25 studies as well as national data from Sweden. The investigators reported that consumption of up to two drinks a day was associated with a lower risk of ischemic stroke (blocked blood flow to the brain), but appeared to have no effect on the risk of bleeding (hemorrhagic) stroke. ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Missing opportunities for stroke prevention

Do you know three people who've had a stroke?

Did one of those three have a missed opportunity to prevent a stroke?

Disturbing research from the United Kingdom suggests "missed opportunities" to prescribe drugs for stroke prevention:
Across the UK, that amounts to 33% of all stroke and 'mini-stroke' (transient ischaemic attack, or TIA) patients having a 'missed opportunity' for preventative treatment.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

America's Stroke Belt and stroke risk factors

Do you live in the "Stroke Belt," or generally the southern/southeastern United States, plus Indiana?

Stroke risk factors - which we've talked about lately, are a big part of the problem. And strokes can hit young people, too, especially in the Stroke Belt. I ran across this story from Memphis about an unlikely stroke victim:
She blacked out. When she came around, her left side was going numb.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Politics aside, cigarette taxes are linked to smoking decline

There's a lot of politics in taxes. So I'll leave lawmakers or voters to decide on cigarette taxes. However, if somehow, someday the tobacco industry grinds to a complete stop, I'll be OK with that.

Regardless of politics, though, check out how smoking declines as cigarette taxes rise:
The number of cigarette smokers in the United States has dropped by 8.5 million since 2005 — and that fall could be accelerated by a tobacco tax just passed in California.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

God is with you - even in the dark places

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Ever been in a dark place?

I always associate darkness with my stroke, with a vague recollection of being in a dark room while someone was looking at an image of my brain. I was confused, couldn't speak and couldn't move my right arm or leg.

Dark place indeed.

You likely recognize the verse above from the 23rd Psalm, one of the most often-quoted chapter in the Bible. It begins "The Lord is my shepherd... ." You might be even more familiar with other translations, including the King James version with its famous "valley of the shadow of death" phrase.

Today, though, consider that you have a comforter when you are in the dark. God is with you. You are never alone.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Stroke risk factors that need a solution

If you've read much of this blog, you've seen items about smoking, diet and other stroke risk factors. Click here to read a compilation.

But are you always in complete control of those risk factors? Or does just living in a poor neighborhood up stroke risk?:
Women and men of all races in the poorest neighborhoods were more likely to suffer a stroke than those in the richer neighborhoods. This held true even after the researchers adjusted for other factors such as age, race, sex and region of the country.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Cartoonist shares his personal stroke story


Chance are, you have a stroke story, or you know someone who has a stroke story. Every year, thousands of new stroke stories are generated.

The second part of today's news is that the cartoon "Nancy" is still published. I subscribe to two newspapers (yes, actual paper newspapers) and neither publishes "Nancy," which I remember from my youth.

So I almost missed the story of the current "Nancy" cartoonist, who uses his personal story to highlight stroke awareness:
[Guy] Gilchrist credits the minor event in his youth for motivating him to give up his unhealthy, stress-filled “rock-n-roll lifestyle” and go all-in on his craft. A second medical event – perhaps another minor stroke – in his 40s served as a powerful reminder, snapping him back into a healthy lifestyle that he now maintains at age 59.