Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Is technology going to catch up with stroke recovery needs?

In the last few years, we've seen lots of ideas about technology and recovery. You can find a few here.

Still, it's a little disheartening that high-tech solutions seem to always be just over the horizon instead of in place and available to all stroke survivors.

Stroke is the leading cause of disability, and most stroke survivors are included in those numbers. How much productivity can be regained if we truly harness technology to make a difference in these lives?

So, with that, here's another trial featuring cutting-edge treatments for stroke patients using videogames and robotic arms:
New therapeutic devices for stroke recovery, made possible by advances in hardware and software, are transforming the typically low-tech world of stroke rehabilitation. Though the tools are still in the early stages, doctors say that they can be more motivating and engaging for patients than current standard therapies, and that they hold promise for stroke survivors who are too injured for traditional therapy.
“We’re entering a very exciting era,” says Dr. David Putrino, director of telemedicine at the Burke Medical Research Institute in White Plains, N.Y. “All of these new tools can really help us do our jobs much better.”

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wrong medicine for your particular stroke risks?

A few posts ago, I mention an article about the value of aspirin for those who experienced a mini-stroke.

Now, here's another article about when perhaps NOT to use aspirin when patients at risk for stroke get wrong medicine:
Researchers analyzed data on more than 500,000 people with atrial fibrillation, an irregular rapid heartbeat that can lead to stroke, heart failure and chronic fatigue.
Roughly 40 percent of these patients got aspirin instead of prescriptions for blood thinners – also called anticoagulants.
“By prescribing aspirin, we may be fooling ourselves

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Care about someone's future? Simple ways to bring down stroke risks

If you or a loved one had a stroke, you know how important it is to help people prevent strokes.

Exercise didn't ward off mine - a cryptogenic stroke - but a good exercise regimen brings down the odds of stroke risk years down the road. Check out the story on how middle-age fitness helps ward off stroke later:
Among nearly 20,000 adults in their mid to late 40s, researchers found the most fit had a 37 percent lower risk of having a stroke after 65, compared with the least fit.
The protective effect of fitness remained even after the researchers accounted for risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and an abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Looking for bandages for the soul

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
We've all had a broken heart, haven't we? Times of sadness or disappointment. Feelings of hopelessness.

Been there.

This Psalm writer tells us that God gives us hope, though, applying the bandage we need for these wounds of inward pain to heal.

Those bandages might not be easy to see during some of those times of heartbroken loss. But don't lose hope - seek his healing of the soul.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

'Mind your risks' especially important for high-risk populations

The best way to "treat" a stroke is to prevent it. This is from someone who had one.

Of course, not every stroke is preventable. Mine was a cryptogenic stroke. But the great majority are preventable, and here's an item about efforts in the area of racial disparities in stroke:
"The prevalence of hypertension is higher in blacks, but its impact is even greater in the black population. An increase of 10mmHg in blood pressure is associated with an 8 percent increase in stroke risk among whites but a 24 percent increase in stroke risk in blacks," said Dr. Walter Koroshetz, director of NINDS.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Getting serious about salt? We consume more than you might think

We've heard it before: too much salt in American diets. And since salt is a contributor to high blood pressure - the leading cause of strokes - too much can be serious.

Now, the FDA has issued new guidelines to target the sodium hiding in our diets:
Too much salt can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, as many research studies have demonstrated. "Experts at the Institute of Medicine have concluded that reducing sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day can significantly help Americans reduce their blood pressure and ultimately prevent hundreds of thousands of premature illnesses and deaths," Susan Mayne, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in a statement.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Be careful to read the limitations, but this might be promising

Possible promise: stem cells and stroke recovery.

I ran across an article showing some "stunned" researchers. As the story mentions, it's a small number of people in a single study, but it might show some direction for future, larger research projects.

So read - and especially the caveats - how Stanford researchers "stunned" by stem cell experiment that helped stroke patient walk:
The one-time therapy involved surgeons drilling a hole into the study participants' skulls and injecting stem cells in several locations around the area damaged by the stroke. These stem cells were harvested from the bone marrow of adult donors. While the procedure sounds dramatic, it is considered relatively simple as far as brain surgery goes. The patients were conscious the whole time and went home the same day.