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by A MorrisStrokes are also known as cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) or brain attacks. When you have a stroke the blood supply to a part of your brain is disrupted and stopped in a similar fashion to having a heart attack.
The flow of blood to your brain has to be restored fairly quickly or the result will be permanent damage, as your brain needs blood constantly.
As the brain cannot fix damaged areas the first aim in the treatment of stroke is to keep the damage as small as possible. During stroke rehabilitation the brain is encouraged to bypass the affected area and so reduce your post stroke symptoms.
Strokes can be divided into 2 broad categories, which are Ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes.
Ischemic means not enough blood and in an ischemic stroke a clot blocks a small blood vessel. Blood does not flow past and the brain distal to the clot quickly starts to malfunction and soon to die. The clot may come from the heart or form in the small vessel itself.
Approximately 75% of strokes are caused by ischemia. There are of course risk factors and they include arterial disease, smoking, high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats, particularly atrial fibrillation.
Hemorrhagic is the opposite and means too much blood. A blood vessel bursts and this not only leaks blood out, which damages the area around the leak, but also reduces the amount flowing onwards. Hemorrhagic strokes account for about a quarter of the total and affect all ages.
The risk factors include hypertension, blood clotting disorders and weakness in the blood vessel wall leading to a balloon like effect called an aneurysm, that can pop.
Often after a stroke the initial problems such as with speech and movement start to improve after a few days to weeks. This is because brain cells that arenít dead but have been damaged need time to recover. However this is only a small silver lining.
The best possible recovery after a stroke needs months of stroke rehabilitation, which includes physical and occupational therapy and often speech and language help as well.
Even as recently as 15 - 20 years ago it was thought that the brain was a static organ and that it was impossible for it to recover some function by making new pathways round dead areas. This has now been scientifically proven to be inaccurate. Stroke rehabilitation done at home and in hospital stimulates the brain and speeds recovery.
A steady flow of information to your brain and you responding to it is the way to get the best possible results for stroke rehabilitation. The whole thrust of rehabilitation is to boost your recovery and help the brain make new pathways. Much work is necessary but the results are usually worth it.
About the Author:
Strokes happen to many thousands of people each year but there is much you can do to speed your recovery. To read more about stroke and rehabilitationplease visit Surviving major illness such as stroke | Pain and Rehab Solutions