About 750,000 Americans experience a stroke each year. This damaging condition is caused by a sudden lack of blood reaching the brain, leaving tissue without oxygen and nutrients. The most common form of stroke is called “ischemic stroke,” which is brought on by a blocked artery that leads to the brain. Less commonly, a hemorrhage strikes when a blood vessel ruptures. Most often, high blood pressure or plaque that has built up in the arteries can premeditate a stroke.
The good news is that, these days, most strokes are not fatal. Having a stroke doesn’t necessarily sound the death knell. Still, there are many negative effects that result from having a stroke, and that’s what I’m here to discuss today. The type of damage a person can experience as a result of a stroke really depends on what side of the brain was damaged. If it was the right, a person can have impaired movement and sensation on the left side of their body. If it was the left, the damage will similarly cause problems on the right side of the body — but may also disrupt speech and language.
Often strokes can cause many other aftereffects, including depression, loss of vision, bladder and bowel problems, difficulty breathing, trouble with balance and hearing, mood swings, and even dementia.
Now, dealing with the aftermath of a stroke and improving one’s outcome usually includes working with a small team of health professionals that may include a rehab doctor, a nurse, a speech therapist, a psychiatrist, a dietitian, and a social worker. Psychologically, surviving a stroke can be tough, as the victim’s emotions will rise and fall sharply. Stroke victims are told to be careful in the months following the episode, paying heed to their tone of voice, avoiding distractions, staying in touch with friends, keeping conversations at an adult level, and avoiding conversations with groups of people — all in order to allow the brain to slowly recover.
A new study has added more hope to stroke recovery. It comes in the form of magnet therapy, which involves using magnets two to four times stronger than the ones that hang on your fridge. These magnetic fields can affect individual cells, alter biochemical reactions, improve blood circulation, and improve the nervous system. All of this is relevant for post-stroke patients.
A new study has found that “transcranial magnetic stimulation” can produce short-term improvements after stroke. They found that 35% of the participants taking magnetic therapy experienced good to excellent improvements in their bodily functions. They went through 10 daily treatments, which consisted of having their heads placed in a controlled magnetic field.
This is promising news for stroke victims and people at a high risk of stroke.