Advances in Stroke Care

One of the most significant scientific advances over the past 30 years has been progress in healthcare. Stroke care has improved dramatically in the past 30 years.

1
Stroke Outcome has Changed

A stroke is not necessarily the tragedy that it used to be- stroke survivors experience better recovery than ever before.

2
Rehabilitative Care

 Stroke rehabilitation has taken many huge steps forward. Customized cognitive and physical exercises using state of the art devices, computers and music have made post-stroke therapy more individualized and more effective in maximizing recovery. The number of trained physical therapists and occupational therapists has been steadily climbing, allowing stroke survivors to benefit more from the best tools and the most well-trained professionals that help bring out the best function possible.

3
Prevention

 Science has uncovered vast information about the biological causes of stroke. Medical screening effectively identifies stroke risk factors. Better control of heart disease has helped prevent stroke, one of the side effects of heart disease. And now, easy to use at-home devices can help healthy people stay healthy.

4
Acute Treatment

 Emergency stroke treatment started to become readily available in the late 1990's. Over the past 20 years, most major cities have established stroke care teams and acute stroke care plans to respond to stroke urgently and skillfully. Outcomes are radically improved when patients are diagnosed quickly and receive prompt stroke care with state of the art treatments such as Tissue Plasminogen Activatior and intra-arterial thrombolysis.

5
Targeted Long-Term Treatment

 Medical management of stroke includes the use of blood thinners, cholesterol medication, blood pressure therapy and heart rhythm management, all of which have progressed dramatically. Patients benefit from better medication with fewer side effects. More medication choices and the availability of systematic research studies help doctors and pharmacists understand the best ways to precisely individualize treatment targeted towards each patient’s particular needs.

6
Imaging

 Brain x-rays have advanced to levels beyond what could have been only imagined in the 1980s. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), in routine use now, was still fairly new, and not yet reliable in the 1980’s. PET scanning and spectroscopy, used in the most complex stroke cases, were not even comprehensible, much less practical, 30 years ago.  The widespread availability of sophisticated brain imaging techniques allows fast and accurate diagnosis in even the most complex stroke cases, providing better and speedier care for patients. 

7
Disability Accomodations

 Services and amenities for people with disabilities still have a long way to go- but much has improved due to an increased awareness and respect for human potential. Laws that promote less workplace discrimination and more conveniences make living with disability more practical.

8
Smoking

 Widespread acknowledgement of the hazards of smoking began years ago, but it has taken time for society to change habits and for smoking to decline. There has been a significant drop-off of smoking in the developed world. This is particularly significant when it comes to stroke because smoking raises the risk of stroke considerably

9
Scientific Advances

 Scientific advances have propelled stroke therapy into amazing new directions. Stem cell therapy has been used successfully in research experiments on stroke volunteers. Electrical therapy has been used to revive nerves damaged from stroke. Pharmaceutical agents and temperature regulation can help repair brain tissue after a stroke. The future of stroke care has already started.

10
Public Awareness and Widespread Recognition

 Recognition of stroke symptoms due to public awareness campaigns and increased patient education has allowed stroke victims to become stroke survivors because of the interventions available with timely medical attention. TIA's are better recognized by the public, prompting urgent medical care and long-term stroke prevention. 

11
Information on the Internet

 Patients are powerful consumers. An educated and well-informed patient has the best chances at a good outcome. Information that used to be available only at medical libraries is now available at your fingertips online. Knowledge provides you with the power to use your healthcare resources to take control of your health.

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