Deans' stroke musings

Changing stroke rehab and research worldwide now.Time is Brain!Just think of all the trillions and trillions of neurons that DIE each day because there are NO effective hyperacute therapies besides tPA(only 12% effective). I have 493 posts on hyperacute therapy, enough for researchers to spend decades proving them out. These are my personal ideas and blog on stroke rehabilitation and stroke research. Do not attempt any of these without checking with your medical provider. Unless you join me in agitating, when you need these therapies they won't be there.

What this blog is for:

Shortly after getting out of the hospital and getting NO information on the process or protocols of stroke rehabilitation and recovery I started searching on the internet and found that no other survivor received useful information. This is an attempt to cover all stroke rehabilitation information that should be readily available to survivors so they can talk with informed knowledge to their medical staff. It's quite disgusting that this information is not available from every stroke association and doctors group.
My back ground story is here:

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Regaining language skills after a stroke: Will speech therapy help?

We don't need equivocating words like 'more likely', we want concrete words like 'will result in this amount of recovery'.  Provide results or get the hell out of the way of persons who will do that hard work. Write up protocols you lazy bastards. Systematic reviews are lazy, do the clinical trials. Systematic reviews and meta-analysis would be completely unnecessary if stroke protocols were public and continually updated.

The Bottom Line

  • Approximately one third of people who have a stroke develop aphasia: difficulties with language and communication that can include speaking, understanding, reading and writing.
  • Speech language therapy can help speed up the process of recovery.
  • ‘Higher intensity’ speech language therapy (more and longer sessions) are more likely to lead to greater and faster improvements.
  • Be proactive with the details of your recovery plan: find out if speech language therapy is available to you and options for financial assistance.
Having a stroke can be a traumatic experience. We know that time is of the essence when it comes to getting to the hospital for treatment. But for many people, recovery from the initial event is just the beginning of a longer period of recovery and rehabilitation to restore lost function caused by the stroke.

For at least one third of all people who suffer a stroke, recovery includes problems with communication (1). “Aphasia” is the term for language difficulties – including trouble speaking, listening and understanding, reading and writing – that often result from a stroke. Some or all communication skills may be affected and to varying degrees (2). For patients and their loved ones, it can add another layer of frustration and anxiety to an already difficult situation.

Fortunately, most people recover language and communication skills, though the rate at which they regain abilities – and whether they make a full recovery – varies depending on the individual. For some, it’s a slow and uncertain climb and anything that might help the process is welcome. Speech language therapy is a recommended option.

“If any stroke patient is showing signs of aphasia, speech language therapy should be included in their recovery plan according to the Canadian Stroke Best Practices,” says Dr. Patrice Lindsay, Director of Stroke, Heart & Stroke. “If not treated properly, aphasia can have a negative impact on a patient’s overall recovery, for example, they may become socially isolated. This may affect their desire and ability to actively participate in the rehabilitation process.”

But what does the research say about speech language therapy. Does it really work?

One recent systematic review examined the results of 57 randomized controlled trials involving more than 3,000 people with aphasia (3). In about half of the studies, participants who were offered speech language therapy were compared with control groups who received no specialized or formal language assistance. Other studies compared speech language therapy with social support or stimulation (i.e. opportunities to practice communication skills but not in a structured, standardized way) or compared different types and intensities of speech language therapy.

What the research tells us

Research evidence shows that speech language therapy is an effective way to improve language and communication skills after a stroke (3). It’s clearly better than no therapy at all but comparisons to other approaches like social support and stimulation were hard to make since many study participants withdrew early from the less structured programs.

The evidence also suggested that “higher intensity” speech language therapy, for example more sessions and/or for a longer duration, can contribute to greater and/or faster improvements.

While speech language therapy is a valuable part of stroke recovery, some people may not have easy access to Speech Language Pathologists, particularly outside urban areas and – depending on where you live and your healthcare plan – costs may not be covered. Be proactive about your stroke recovery plan: find out if speech language therapy is available to you and options for financial assistance.

Stroke recovery involves patience, perseverance and understanding on the part of the person affected as well as family and friends. In the meantime, it’s important to keep those lines of communication open, even if aphasia makes it more challenging.

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