How to recover faster from a stroke by Steven R. Zeiler, MD

How to recover faster from a stroke

By Steven R. Zeiler, MD

You already know that the most important thing you can do if you can do if you having a stroke (or suspect that you are)  is to get to an emergency room as fast as possible. Every second that you save may stop precious brain tissue from dying.

But what you and your care team do in the days immediately after a stroke also is critical-especially for recovering from motor deficit and regaining control of your muscles.

Two important new findings:

First finding: In animal studies in a lab, waiting just one week to start rehab led to significantly worse outcomes.

Second finding: A certain medication can prevent that stoke recovery window from closing so quickly.

The overall window for stroke recovery in people continues well past the first week, of course. Many people who have had strokes can continue to improve for months, even years. So never give up! But here’s what to do immediately after the emergency phase…

Start rehab quickly: Take advantage of that early recovery period-the sooner you begin, the greater your recovery. If your doctors don’t start your rehab in the hospital a day or two after the stroke, ask about it and push for it-even if there are medical issues that make it difficult.

Ask about the drug fluoxetine: Other recent research has shown that this antidepressant, aka Prozac, started within one day after a stroke, not only improves recovery but also extends the length of the recovery window. An earlier randomized clinical trial showed that patients with moderate-to-severe motor deficit after ischemic stroke (the most common kind, caused by a blood clot) who took fluxentine every day for three months, starting five to ten days after a stroke, had significantly greater improvement than patients who received a placebo. Other drugs in the same class also seem to improve stroke recovery but the most data exist for fluoxetine and the new research adds to the urgency of that prescription. While more and more physicians are prescribing fluoxetine, it is not yet a standard of care, so ask.

Engage: your brain right away: What you do matters too, so don’t rely solely on rehab services. Do your best to stimulate your brain by playing games on a tablet or working on a puzzle. When people visit you in the hospital rather than just watching TV together or exchanging pleasantries, have a real conversation about current events or a book you recently have read. In animal studies, mice kept in enriched and stimulating environments after a stroke had a greater recovery than those kept in simple cages. You want as much of your brain back as possible, so use it as soon as possible!

Disclaimer: This article was taken from Bottom Line Magazine and is credited to Steven R. Zeiler, MD. Thank you for your insights on this subject. This article is solely the opinion of this doctor. Please consult with your own physician for more information.

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About jwatrel

I am a free-lance writer and Blogger. I am the author of the book "Firehouse 101" (IUniverse.com 2005) part of trilogy of books centered in New York City. My next book "Love Triangles" is finished being edited and should be ready for release in the Fall. My latest book, "Dinner at Midnight", a thriller is on its last chapter. My long awaited book explains the loss of the 2004 Yankee game to Boston. I work as a Consultant, Adjunct College Professor, Volunteer Fireman and Ambulance member and Blogger. I have a blog site for caregivers called 'bergencountycaregiver', a step by step survival guide to all you wonderful folks taking care of your loved ones, a walking project to walk every block, both sides, of the island of Manhattan "MywalkinManhattan" and discuss what I see and find on the streets of New York and three sites to accompany it. One is an arts site called "Visiting a Museum", where I showcase small museums, historical sites and parks that are off the beaten track both in Manhattan and outside the city to cross reference with "MywalkinManhattan" blog site. Another is "DiningonaShoeStringNYC", featuring small restaurants I have found on my travels in this project, that offer wonderful meals for $10.00 and under. So be on the lookout for updates on all three sites and enjoy 'MywalkinManhattan'. The third is my latest site, "LittleShoponMainStreet", which showcases all the unique and independent shops that I have found on my travels throughout and around Manhattan. I have started two new blog sites for the fire department, one "EngineOneHasbrouck HeightsFireDepartmentnj" for the Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department to discuss what our Engine Company is doing and the other is "BergenCountyFireman'sHomeAssociation" for the Bergen County Fireman's Association, which fire fighters from Bergen County, NJ, go to the Fireman's Home in Boonton, NJ to bring entertainment and cheer to our fellow brother fire fighters quarterly.
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One Response to How to recover faster from a stroke by Steven R. Zeiler, MD

  1. jwatrel says:

    Remember to consult with your doctor any time you think something is happening or you need more information.

    Liked by 1 person

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