Thursday, March 31, 2016

Past routine therapy - brain stimulation via electrodes

Brain stimulation - perhaps a key to improving stroke recovery.

The more it's offered, recent research suggests, the better the recovery. In my own experience, I tried to do at least something every day as "brain stimulation" via reading, writing and other mental exercise. Now, they are talking about applying stimulation via electrodes. And the research indicates that brain stimulation after stroke aids recovery:
Stroke patients undergoing rehabilitation who receive repeated brain stimulation do better in terms of recovering movement than those who don't, a new study shows. ...

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sad but true facts about stroke patients, treatment and response

I was one of the fortunate - most people don't get to a hospital in time to be even considered for the primary treatment for stroke patients.

The treatment, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) doesn't work all the time, and more treatments are being researched. Still, the drug has reduced the number of people who leave hospitals with little or no disability.

So, why so few people being treated? It's because, it seems, people don't get in a hurry to get to help with a stroke. And that's just not right. Know the symptoms. And get help F.A.S.T. Check out the story on how a medical team studies when an effective but sometimes risky stroke drug should be used:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

What do you rely on? Maybe you should rely on this rescuer

I rely on your constant love; I will be glad, because you will rescue me.
We all need a rescuer, sooner or later.

When did you need one? Or are you waiting your turn?

Stroke survivors know what it's like to need a rescuer: Keeping you alive. Helping your initial recovery. Providing physical, speech and/or occupational therapy. Rescuers all.

God is the chief rescuer. When it comes down to it, when all rescue resources are exhausted, God is there to get us through. His constant love endures.

Easter is coming soon - on this Sunday, most Christians celebrate Christ's resurrection, the victory over even death. With strength like that, with constant love, we have our rescuer.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Know someone who is ... Caregiver? Spouse? Stressed? That person is not alone

Stress is your enemy.
Photo from bottled_void
via Flickr

Stress is especially an enemy for caregivers - and those people are often prime targets for stress.

The needs of caregivers can be woefully ignored, including their own health care, which includes mental care. You should take note from this story on how stressed spouse caregivers race a higher stroke risk:
Spousal caregivers who reported being under moderate or severe strain had a 5.1% rate of incident stroke, compared with 2.6% among propensity-matched people who were not caregivers ... , Sindhu Lakkur, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues found. ...
The researchers suggested there could be a public health implication for targeting stroke prevention efforts to this higher risk group of struggling spouse caregivers. Exactly how this might be done needs further study, Lakkur told MedPage Today.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Managing blood pressure - lowering those numbers

Photo from via Flickr
Pay attention, keep track and act when needed - key elements to control high blood pressure, the leading cause of strokes.

Read a recent study illustrating this importance and how intensive blood pressure management is feasible in post-stroke care:
"Active management of systolic blood pressure in this population using a 140 mm Hg target led to a clinically important reduction in blood pressure," they wrote, adding, "Active management of blood pressure after stroke/transient ischaemic attack is more important than the target that is set."
"The additional resources needed to achieve the additional 3 mm Hg lower blood pressure in the intensive target arm might be better spent in increasing the proportion of people with stroke in primary care who have a systolic blood pressure below 140 mm Hg."
Their Prevention After Stroke -- Blood Pressure (PAST-BP) study included 529 patients at 99 general practices in England who were randomized open-label to treatment to an intensive target of under 130 mm Hg (or a 10 mm Hg reduction from baseline if they started below 140 mm Hg) or a standard target of less than 140 mm Hg.
"Apart from the different target, patients in both arms were actively managed in the same way with regular reviews by the primary care team," Mant's group noted."
The reduction of blood pressure readings might have been small, but which level would you rather have?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Staying thirsty, my friends? You are one of most interesting people in the world

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, ...
If you haven't heard it yet, you'll hear about it soon: The most interesting man in the world will become the most interesting man in two worlds. He's heading to Mars on a one-way trip.

Check out the commercial, then re-read the verse from Hebrews:

Thursday, March 10, 2016

It's not about food or drink but about you and me

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, ...

Now, a different alcohol angle.

Where did you grow up? My hometown was in a "dry" county, a place with alcohol restrictions and lots of people who just didn't approve of alcohol.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Raise your glass for a toast ... or not ... or do it ... or not ...

Way before people had blogs, we went back and forth about whether drinking is bad for you, or not bad for you. Then it was decided that a little red wine is good for you.

But now, a study indicates, stroke risk goes higher after drinking:
Drinking alcohol was linked to an immediate increase in heart attack and stroke risk in all drinkers, but moderate drinkers seemed to experience some protective cardiovascular benefits within 24 hours of imbibing, according to a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis.
On the other hand, heavy drinkers saw a sustained elevated risk, reported Elizabeth Mostofsky, ScD, of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and colleagues. The study was published in Circulation and presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle 2016 Scientific Sessions in Phoenix.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

If nothing else, this story could be a stroke prevention reminder

I don't know what to make of this - could daylight saving time increase your risk of stroke?:
"Looking at over a decade of stroke data, we saw a temporary increase in stroke incidence after daylight saving time transitions," Ruuskanen told CBS News. "Although from an individual point of view, this small increase in stroke risk we see in a population level is probably not a major issue, the study emphasizes the importance of sleep disturbances as a risk factor for stroke."
There was no difference in stroke risk after two days.
This year, clocks will "spring forward" for daylight saving time on Sunday, March 13.
I can't believe that changing clocks are causing strokes. It has to be something else. The research doesn't isolate a cause, just an interesting possible correlation.

Still, let this be a reminder about engaging in stroke prevention - just follow this link to more about that.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Stroke survivor, ever stumble - either via feet or speech? That's not a crime

Stroke survivors are often misunderstood. And while I can't condone smoking, I can feel for the stroke survivor claims she was wrongly jailed for public intoxication:
Deana said she had just left a convenience store, where she purchased some beer and cigarettes and was headed back to her apartment.
For much of her walk home, Deana said she tried to remain on the sidewalk. But it starts and stops, and because she can’t balance on the grass, she said she was forced to step out into the bike lane.