June Report on Progress: Stroke Treatment

This month’s Report on Progress focuses on advances in stroke treatment and therapy. Strokes can have a variety of neurological effects on the body like difficulty speaking, loss of consciousness and sudden death. The article, written by Xuefang Ren, M.D., and James W. Simpkins, Ph.D., discusses current treatments, explains how strokes occur, and underscores the need to develop more effective therapies.

Stroke, the most common medical emergency, is a cerebrovascular accident that can cause death and long-term disability. Over 80 percent of all strokes are ischemic strokes, when a clot lodges in an artery supplying blood to the brain and the blood flow is reduced or blocked. A small percentage, caused by rupture of brain blood vessels, are called hemorrhagic strokes. Stroke risk factors are well known and include high blood pressure, elevated lipids, diabetes, smoking, heavy drinking, coronary artery disease, heart diseases, etc.

To read the full article, please click here.

May 25th is National Senior Health and Fitness Day!

Senior Health & Fitness

Image credit: Shutterstock

Today seniors around the country are getting active to celebrate the 23rd National Senior Health and Fitness Day. Exercise is one of the best ways to improve brain health at every stage of life, but is especially important for seniors as a way to reduce the risk for common age-related health problems such as stroke, heart attack, depression, high blood sugar, Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive aging.

A part of Older Americans Month and National Fitness and Sports Month, Senior Health and Fitness Day is a celebration of older Americans’ commitment to an active lifestyle. This year’s theme is “Improve Your Health for a Better Self,” and over 100,000 seniors at more than 1,000 locations across the country will participate in events ranging from health fairs to flash mobs.

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From the Archives: Striking Back at Stroke

StrikingBackStroke_featWhen she was 43, journalist and former nurse Cleo Hutton had a severe stroke. Suddenly unable to speak, understand, or even walk, Hutton struggled first to survive and then to regain her physical skills and her independence. Her book Striking Back at Stroke: A Doctor-Patient Journal combines entries from her personal journal with medical and scientific commentary by Louis R. Caplan, an expert in US stroke medicine and a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. Dana Press published the book in 2003 (11 years after her stroke), and we ran an excerpt of it in our Cerebrum journal, “The War of Rehabilitation.” Here’s a bit from Hutton’s journal:

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BrainWeb: Everything You Need to Know

brain-305774_1280It’s important to stay well-informed when it comes to neurological diseases and disorders, not only for those inflicted but also for their families, caregivers, and friends. While the internet provides us with a wealth of knowledge, oftentimes it can be difficult to decipher whether or not certain information is trustworthy.

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Aphasia Awareness Month

shutterstock_94532341When a close friend of mine first started telling me about her mother’s sudden odd changes in behavior, my immediate thought was that they must be signs of Alzheimer’s. Hers seemed to be a gradual decline, one that began no more than two years ago, and as I saw her every now and then, I noticed more and more how she was withdrawing, depriving us of her warm, sociable disposition. Continue reading

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