Stroke is the Number One Cause of Adult Disability

Deanne Stein Health Guide
  • Stroke is the number one cause of adult disability. During a “brain attack,” brain cells die and abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. These abilities include speech, movement and memory. How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged.

    Someone who has a small stroke may experience only minor problems such as weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be paralyzed on one side or lose their ability to speak. Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.
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    I was lucky and recovered completely. But it took a lot of hard work and six months of rehabilitation. I still feel minor affects, though, five years later. My right arm gets tired easily. It’s difficult to do very detailed tasks, like threading a needle or even writing for long periods of time. Typing is much easier for me.

    In the beginning, I also had trouble walking. My right leg was very weak. I had to build it back up by doing some light weightlifting and a lot of walking. In fact, regaining the ability to walk is the main rehab goal of many stroke survivors.

    There are a lot of technologies in rehabilitation being invented everyday. Devices that will help stroke survivors recover. One device is a robotic knee brace. It’s being tested in Boston and may improve the rehabilitation process for stroke survivors retraining their muscles for walking.

    The lightweight Active Knee Rehabilitation Device can be used anywhere and can be changed as a person progresses in his or her rehabilitation. In fact, with the turn of a dial, the device can create resistance on a healing joint. Researchers hope the flexibility of the device also will allow patients to make rehabilitation part of their daily activities.

    More information you may find helpful:

    Stroke rehab to Go?

    What is a Stroke?

    Stroke Recovery
Published On: October 25, 2006