I’ve always been a vitamin-taker, sort of. But I was not as big a supplement-taker as Tom till my stroke. Since my stroke I have been doing a lot of reading and the push is for both vitamins and supplements. Here are the top seven recommended by Flint Rehab (I recommend you read their article issued October 12, 2018, “Top 7 Vitamins for Stroke Recovery to Boost Brain Health”).
Be sure to check with your doctor first to ensure none of these will mess with the medications he/she has already prescribed for you.
God Bless, Peg
“As long as you keep going, you'll keep getting better. And as you get better, you gain more confidence. That alone is success.” -- Tamara Taylor
I found the following while I was researching the latest on Spasticity After Stroke. It is from Flint Rehab & I encourage you to read the original article. Here I've condensensed their article and added my own two cents as applicable.
1. RECOVERY IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE, EVEN DECADES AFTER SUFFERING A STROKE
Earlier this year at the University of Georgia it was released that new stem-cell based stroke treatment repairs damaged brain tissue, and, human clinical trials could begin as early as next year. Researchers at the university have developed a new treatment for stroke that reduces brain damage and accelerates the brain's natural healing tendencies in animal models.
The research team led by the university professors Steven Stice and Nasrul Hoda created a treatment called AB126 which are generated from human neural stem cells.
Following the administration of AB126, the researchers used MRI scans to measure brain atrophy rates. The results generated by the MRI scans were great.
In addition to mice and rats, the results were replicated by an associate professor of animal and dairy science, and fellow university members using other models of stroke.
Based on these preclinical results, plans are being made to begin human studies in 2019, said Stice.
"Until now, we had very little evidence specific to neural exosome treatment and the ability to improve motor function," said Stice. "Just days after stroke, we saw better mobility, improved balance and measurable behavioral benefits in treated animal models."
The company that has been developed has plans to expand this initiative beyond stroke for preclinical studies in epilepsy, TBI and spinal cord injuries later this year.
I plan to follow up on the current activity of the stem-cell stroke treatment and report back to you here.
God Bless, Peg
Fall seven times, stand up eight. -- Japanese proverb
This is a picture of Annie's Graduation from Santa Clara U. Her face is green due to the green accounting shades all accounting majors wore. I promised to bring you the latest post-stroke research available through this website. Well I found an article recently that was more for the general public, but it really applies to the recovery of the post-stroke survivors.Before I got sick I thought I was smart, healthy and happy, to name just a few adjectives. I mean I have already shared with you my accomplishments as a child and through my school years all the way through college and earning my CPA. And I have also shared with you my accomplishments as a professional and as a wife, mom, aunt and I could (and may) go on.
Here’s a summary and it’s from an article by Deep Patel in entrepreneur.com dated 10-31-18. The title of the article is 13 Things You Can Do Daily to be Smarter, Healthier and Happier. Basically, it says to start working toward building a robust mind and body you need to work with these 13 daily challenges.
1. Increase your brain power by playing an instrument. Research shows that regularly playing a musical instrument may even improve your cognitive skills.
2. Stay sharp by reading books. Studies also show that reading books, no matter the type, increases your language comprehension and vocabulary.
3. Write - it can “untangle” your mind. Writing encourages a lot like vocabulary growth and grammar, but it also untangles our messy minds, allows for clearer thinking, and allows us to learn more by improving our ability to absorb information.
4. Boost brain cell health through exercise. Studies tend to show that people who exercise regularly are healthier and have higher IQ scores, and people who exercise regularly think more clearly and are better at coming up with new ideas. Physical activity has been shown to affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain and even the abundance of new brain cells. This is very important for post-stroke survivors.
5. Socialize to increase intellectual performance. Socializing is an important part of our lives -- it turns out those friendly gatherings actually increase our intellectual performance.
6. Drink plenty of water to fuel body and mind. Staying hydrated with water is crucial to overall health. Drinking water is a natural pick-me-up.
7. Harness the protégé effect to help you learn. Learning by teaching goes back to ancient times, but modern researchers have discovered exactly why it works. It has to do with the “protégé effect,” in which students who teach their study material to others perform better on tests than those who learn for the sake of learning. Teaching improves your understanding, knowledge and retention of a subject.
8. Make smart diet choices to support your body and mind.
Turmeric has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
9. Hone athletic skills for improved brain performance.Athletics is not just a good way to exercise your body; it is actually a great way to improve your brain’s performance.
10. Sleep to help you remember.Let us just remember this - it is very simple. In our rushed and busy world, it’s easy to overlook nature’s best (and absolutely free) cognitive enhancer: sleep. But we need it. Sleep is crucial. Good sleep is crucial.
11. Learn a new language to increase problem-solving skills.Knowing how to speak more than one language is increasingly important, especially in our global world. But, knowing and using more than 1 language also has the benefit of making you smarter.
12. Break out of your comfort zone for maximized performance.The trick is to break out of your “comfort zone” and push yourself to do things differently every day. Try something new, but not to the point where you’re on anxiety overload.
13. Adopt a learning mind to broaden your knowledge.Pushing your brain to learn new concepts can be an amazing workout for your mind.
Well, these are the 13 things the article talks about in greater depth. Like I mentioned, you should read it and you will have a chance to be smarter, healthier and happier! And, your post-stroke self will be much better improved!
"Whatever you do, don't wake up at 65 years old and think about what you should have done with your life." -- George Clooney
From the US CDC, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US. Nearly 150,000 people die each year from stroke in the US.
“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.” – Vincent van Gogh
(Be sure to see the entire article in Science Daily, 9-27-18)
Science Daily mentioned a new therapy technique invented by researchers at The University of Texas (UT) Dallas that has been showing a pilot study that doubles the rate of upper limb recovery in stroke patients, a leap forward in treating the nearly 800,000 Americans who suffer strokes each year.
The results of the study, funded by UT Dallas spin-off company MicroTransponder of Austin, Texas, were published 9-27-18 in the journal Stroke.
The findings indicate that targeted plasticity therapy -- which involves stimulation of the vagus nerve paired with traditional motor-skill rehabilitation is not only safe, but also twice as effective as rehab alone. The vagus nerve, also called the X cranial nerve or 10th cranial nerve, is the longest and most complex of the cranial nerves and it runs from the brain through the face and thorax to the abdomen.
Dr. Jane Wigginton, the chief medical officer at UT Dallas' Texas Biomedical Device Center (TxBDC) and an associate professor of emergency medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, led the Dallas site of the clinical trial, which involved 17 people across the country who had suffered a stroke.
"Stroke is too common and too debilitating for us to tolerate the status quo," Wigginton said. "Patients need a real solution so they can get back to fully living their lives."
Researchers affiliated with the TxBDC and BBS developed the therapy technique, which pairs physical movements with the precisely timed nerve stimulation (VNS).
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted because of a blockage or a ruptured blood vessel. Limb mobility can be affected when nerve cells are damaged. Such forms of brain trauma are often treated with rehab/therapy that includes repeated movement of the affected limb in an effort to regain motor skills. The approach is thought to work by helping the brain reorganize, to “retrain the brain.”
Several studies of Kilgard's technique in animal models have previously demonstrated that it is effective in recovering limb function after stroke.
In addition to showing that the technique is safe, the researchers found that subjects receiving active VNS scored more than twice as high as control subjects at the 30- and 90-day intervals, opening the way for larger, more extensive clinical trials, Kilgard said. One such trial is in the recruitment phase and includes a study site in Dallas.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”– John Lennon
Retraining the Brain
A groundbreaking medical study from Dr. Zeiler and his colleagues of Johns Hopkins confirmed what clinicians have long suspected - we can rewire the brain so that one part takes over functions typically handled by another area - an area that was damaged by a stroke.
In studies conducted with mice, the researchers first taught the mice a special way to reach for their food. The task was typically done by a part of the brain called the primary motor cortex, which is involved in physical coordination. Then they gave the mice mild strokes that damaged this motor cortex. As expected, the mice could no longer perform the reaching task with their pre-stroke level of precision. Two days after the stroke, however, researchers began retraining the mice and, after a week, the mice performed the task just as well as before the stroke.
The damaged part of the brain hadn’t recovered, says Zeiler. Instead, another part of the brain called the medial premotor cortex took over. To show that, researchers gave the mice strokes in that part of the brain and saw the reaching ability again disappear. But, once again, the mice relearned the task as yet another part of the brain stepped in to handle the job of the medial premotor cortex.
In a similar study, the researchers found that the earlier retraining started, the better. “If you retrained the mice after a one-day delay they got better, but after a seven-day delay they didn’t improve,” Zeiler says.
Johns Hopkins’ Kata Project, a collaboration between neuroscientists, engineers, animal experts, artists and entertainment industry experts, has designed an immersive experience for post-stroke patients who will try to “swim” as a virtual dolphin named Bandit. Upcoming clinical trials will determine if this unique experience helps patients recover motor function faster than the current conventional treatment of repetitive exercises.
Another Potential Key to Stronger Stroke Recovery
In the research, Johns Hopkins expert Steven Zeiler, M.D., Ph.D. and colleagues also found that lower levels of a protein called parvalbumin indicated that the premotor cortex had rewired after stroke. Parvalbumin marks the activity of a special class of nerve cells called inhibitory interneuronis. Low levels of parvalbumin, and therefore lowered levels of inhibitory activity, is thought to help uninjured parts of the brain take over the injured parts, say researchers. This finding suggests that reducing inhibition in certain parts of the uninjured post-stroke brain (perhaps by using different medications and/or electrical stimulation) might promote recovery.
The Power of Stroke Rehab
Good rehab/therapy with healthy living will help stroke recovery help prevent a second subsequent stroke from occurring. If you experience an ischemic stroke (caused by a lack of blood flow to a part of the brain), your doctor will probably recommend aspirin or another anti-clotting medication. Some other smart steps you should consider are as follows:
Maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which differ depending on your age and medical history. You should talk these levels over with your doctor, have a reliable blood pressure monitoring machine at home which you use daily (at the same time each day and keep record of it), and be sure to take BP and cholesterol medication as prescribed.
Eat a Mediterranean-type diet that is high in olive oil, legumes, cereals, fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. You can get decent recipes for Mediterranean dishes online or purchase a complete Mediterranean cookbook.
Get moderate physical exercise such as brisk walking (or jogging), cycling or swimming for 30 to 60 minutes at least four days a week. Be sure to ask your doctor if you are ready for jogging, cycling or swimming - and how far and how long. Be sure to advise him/her of all your changes in physical activity.
Aim for a healthy weight, including a waist circumference of less than 31.5 inches for women and 37 for men. Again, discuss weight and size/inches with your doctor always.
For complete information go to the John Hopkins website.
"Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless." -- Jamie Paolinetti