What Is Effective Stroke Treatment?

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Stroke recovery involves some form of stroke treatment. Approximately thirty million Americans are affect every year by a stroke. A stroke means that oxygen carried by blood has been somehow compromised to an area of the brain. This can happen by an occlusion or something that physically blocks the blood such as a blood clot. It can also happen when a blood vessel bursts, which is called a hemorrhage and results in a bleed. The outcome for both causes is the same, the damaged area of the brain has impaired functioning.

The extent of stroke damage will determine the extent of the stroke treatment. The damage to the area of the affected brain depends on how severe the stroke was. The potential problems faced by the stroke survivor also depend on what area of the brain was damaged. Our brain is divided into different sections that subsequently perform different tasks, therefore damage to a particular area will affect that task performance. Part of stroke treatment will focus on retraining that task.

How does stroke treatment actually help the brain in the stroke rehabilitation process? Scientists have discovered that the brain is capable of changing and learning. Physical changes on the cellular level occur that allow the brain to learn new skills. This is termed neuroplasticity. It occurs with any learning, such as a new motor skill like dancing or a new cognitive skill like mathematics. Stroke survivors when doing stroke treatment are not usually learning new skills but learning the ability to do skills that they have lost. This could be moving a part of the body or understanding language.

On the cellular level stroke treatment starts to help cells communicate to each other. For example the cells that want to move your arm must start to communicate to the cells that are responsible for movement. When first learning or re-learning this skill the communication pathway can be likened to trying to tread a path through a forest, it is hard to find a path the first time. But over time as the same path is tread over and over again, a certain groove will be worn out and a clearer path will develop that will be much easier to walk along. The same is true with the brain, the communication becomes stronger and easier to do. Such is the goal with stroke treatment.

Stroke treatment enables the brain to form new connections so it can better perform any tasks that it was having difficulty with. This is an important part of the rehabilitation process and is vital for stroke recovery. There is a severe lack of the latest and best stroke rehabilitation exposure to most stroke survivors. Many survivors are incorrectly informed about their potential for recovery and their rehab is an outdated rushed process that leaves them well short of their recovery. I would hope that all stroke survivors are properly educated with how the brain recovers during stroke rehabilitation and that they have access to the best and newest stroke treatment.

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