Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Up to 1 out of 3 of you have had a stroke - perhaps without knowing

Have you ever had a stroke? Perhaps you had one but didn't recognize it. Read this link how 1 in 3 Americans may have had warning stroke without knowing it:
 ... [A]bout 35 percent of Americans experience symptoms of a warning stroke. Yet only about 3 percent get immediate medical attention.
Most adults who had at least one sign of a "mini" stroke - a temporary blockage also known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA) - waited or rested until symptoms had faded instead of calling 911 right away, according to the research from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA).
"Ignoring any stroke sign could be a deadly mistake," said ASA chair Dr. Mitch Elkind, in a news release from the organization.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

May is Stroke Awareness Month: How aware are you?

May is Stroke Awareness Month. It's important to be aware of stroke signs, what to do and how to prevent strokes - and not only in a single month.

Why? A stroke can strike anyone. Strokes do not respect age, social status or wealth. My own stroke happened in May 1998. Outwardly, I was healthy - a longtime distance runner - and under 40.

I received a chart showing basic information about strokes, signs and prevention from Crouse Hospital of Syracuse, N.Y., and wanted to share its good information for this month. It's not an ad as far as I'm concerned, but rather information for you to retain and share.

Click on the chart and check it out.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Emoji app - can it help aphasia patients?

Back in the pre-emoji era, one of the tools I used to get my language skills back was an educational toy called GeoSafari. The company still makes more modern versions of this toy.

Fast forward almost 19 years, and here's some new technology to help people with aphasia, a common result of a stroke. Read how Samsung’s new app uses emojis to help people with language disorders communicate:
Created by Samsung Electronics Italia (the company’s Italian subsidiary) and speech therapist Francesca Polini, Wemogee replaces text phrases with emoji combinations and can be used as a messaging app or in face-to-face interactions. It supports English and Italian and will be available for Android on April 28, with an iOS version slated for future release.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Unsettling numbers: Stroke rates and young people

This topic really hits home for me. I was under 40 when mine happened. Despite that, there's a general assumption that strokes happen only to the elderly.

But yet another study shows stroke rates appear to be rising steadily in young adults:
"Most people think that having a stroke is something that only happens to older people, but the impact of stroke is significant — it is uniquely complex in younger adults, in midst of careers, serving as wage earners and caregivers, who may suffer disability that can impact their lives and the lives of family members and loved ones," George said.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

'We are renewed day by day'

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Every so often, my body reminds me that I'm no longer in my 20s. Or 30s. Or 40s. You get the picture.

Now we're in the middle of Holy Week, the week between Psalm Sunday - the celebration of Jesus' entry to Jerusalem - and Easter Sunday - the celebration of his resurrection and the ultimate promise of what Paul is saying in the verse above.

So consider this verse this week. Despite age, health issues, anything that troubles you, there's that promise of renewal.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

This millionaire’s stroke led him to a life of philanthropy

Interesting thoughts from a stroke survivor, a millionaire whose stroke led him to a life of philanthropy:
The stroke changed you physically, but how did it change your outlook?
I was scared. A stroke is very difficult because it’s physical and mental. It’s an attack on the brain. But I had a lot of support: my wonderful wife and a lot of friends. But I also had to turn to my faith. When I was sitting there that night after I came out of the coma, I didn’t ask God to let me go back to work or play basketball again. All I said was: Give me the strength to deal with whatever you send my way. That was different for me.
Had you been very religious before that?
My view back then was that Sunday was God’s day, but the other six days I was in control. This was the first time that I realized that God was in control every day. I would not have recovered had I not relinquished control.
The point is not to imitate him in detail - we're not all millionaires - but to do what we can. I need that reminder.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Many at risk for stroke don’t get anti-clotting drugs

Stroke prevention can save a life. Yet, many at risk for stroke don’t get anti-clotting drugs:
More than four in five stroke patients with a history of heart rhythm problems didn’t get any blood thinners, or didn’t take enough to help prevent a stroke before they had one, a U.S. study suggests.
Most strokes occur when a clot blocks an artery carrying blood to the brain, known as an ischemic stroke. The study focused on more than 94,000 stroke patients with atrial fibrillation, an irregular rapid heartbeat that can lead to stroke, heart failure and chronic fatigue.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

'Something else going on' in pot connection

You've likely seen similar news before. Click here for the most recent.  And while the research leaves many unanswered questions, it's worth considering how pot use is tied to higher odds for stroke:
New research analyzing millions of U.S. medical records suggests that marijuana use raises an adult's risk of stroke and heart failure.
The study couldn't prove cause-and-effect, but the researchers said they tried to account for other heart risk factors.
"Even when we corrected for known risk factors, we still found a higher rate of both stroke and heart failure in these patients," explained lead researcher Dr. Aditi Kalla, a cardiologist at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.
"That leads us to believe that there is something else going on besides just obesity or diet-related cardiovascular side effects," Kalla said in a news release from the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Exercise: It's good for your brain

Do what exercise you can - it's good for the brain.

If you've read this blog before, you likely know I'm a longtime distance runner. Not everyone can do that, I realize. But almost anyone can exercise at some level of motion. And recent research reiterates that for stroke survivors, exercise is good for the brain:
The findings bolster what experts have long believed: Exercise can aid stroke recovery in multiple ways.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Too often, too many people don't get the right treatment

The clot-busting drug tPA has been available now for more than 20 years. But still, too many stroke victims don't get the drug:
Every year, patients were 11 percent more likely to be treated by tPA, even though across the entire period of time only 3.8 percent of total patients got the clot-busting drug, researchers reported.
The team found certain types of patients were less likely to receive tPA: