Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Educate yourself about key stroke treatment

Not long ago, finished reading a book about a subject near and dear to my.... brain:

tPA for Stroke: The Story of a Controversial Drug, written by Justin A. Zivin, M.D. Ph.D, and John Galbraith Simmons traces the history - and the initial reluctance of  acceptance of the drug for stroke patients - of the drug I'm convinced prevented my serious disability or even death.

I came into a hospital unable to speak, write or move the right side of my body. Last Saturday, I ran 10 miles. I can speak and, some say, write. Would I have recovered to this degree anyway? Doubtful. While my physical impairments went away quickly, it took several weeks of speech therapy to recover my reading/writing skills to get back to work. I dread what would have happened without  tPA - tissue plasminogen activator - involved in my care. In a few postings, I've called it the Lazarus effect..

The book walks through a couple of cases in particular - one stroke victim receiving tPA and the other one not - with striking differences. Sadly, while stroke centers are appearing across the United States, tPA is still not widely known in public circles. And if it's now well known, it's harder to be an effective advocate for a stroke victim who can't speak. The medication can only be used in a certain window of time, and the patient needs some imaging and exam to make sure it's the right drug. So time is critical.

Take a read of this book and you'll arm yourself with key knowledge. Every year, about 800,000 people have a stroke in the United States. The book could very well help you save a life - someone you love, or even your own.

To quote the book listing on Amazon:

Without warning stroke can paralyze, blind, or kill. Some victims recover, but many do not and may even suffer another disabling or fatal attack. The drug known as tPA can drastically reduce the long-term disability associated with stroke, but despite its near-miraculous capabilities and the growing support of most neurologists, it has been slow to win acceptance as the standard of care in emergency departments nationwide.

1 comment:

MIke said...

A folding mirror therapy box is a great tool in assisting home therapy, after a stroke or injury. Its light weight folds in seconds and can be taken anywhere. For more info google mirror box therapy.

Mirror Therapy has been described in medical literature to be of benefit to 80% of users, but like all therapies dose not always show immediate results. The rate and amount of recovery much depends on the extent of the damage, and the intensity and duration of the therapy you receive. Recovery also is likely to be influenced by personality, life experiences and coping styles. Motivation to recover is a key factor in obtaining an optimal level of rehabilitation. Mirror Therapy is use for CRPS/RSD and rehabilitation after a stroke or injury. A good sauce of info is www.mirrorboxtherapy.com