Thursday, February 19, 2015

Great story of personal, medical advances for stroke survivors

I like personal stories. I like stories about advances in stroke treatment and prevention.

So, I really enjoyed this one - a story from a London journalist who revisited the hospital that treated him 20 years ago.

I survived a stroke 20 years ago. Now a revolution in care is under way:

In the 20 years since I had my “brain attack”, stroke treatment in the UK has undergone a revolution. It’s now linked to the best and brightest technology in the world, the most advanced machines medical science can devise. Ever so slowly, the brain is yielding its secrets. We now know more than ever about how and where, in the cortex, the attack occurred. In a minority of those cases that survive, it’s possible to treat the stroke with drugs and diminish its impact.
Beyond that, the mysterious miracle of the brain continues to frustrate efforts to elucidate its hidden pathways. The neurologist remains like a person shining a pocket flashlight into a darkened ballroom, hoping to pick out a single precious stone. Progress is painfully slow with (at best) a series of small victories. Nevertheless, the challenge remains. Individual consciousness inspires the determination to tackle a unique conundrum – the intersection of mind and brain. At this mysterious cross-roads, here’s one inexplicable bit of data. In the weeks since my visit to the National, my sleep has become animated with the most vivid dreams. I cannot begin to determine if this is a strange by-blow of “plasticity”, but it speaks to the ongoing quest for answers to the workings of the cerebral cortex. Who knows when or how that will end?"
Read the entire article (link above) for the rest of this personal story. It's a reminder, too, that while advances have been made in the area of post-stroke treatment for more complete recovery, we're not there yet.

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