A stroke or "brain attack" occurs when brain cells die because of inadequate blood flow. When blood flow is interrupted, brain cells are robbed of vital supplies of oxygen and nutrients.
- About 80 percent of strokes are caused by the blockage of an artery in the neck or brain.
- Others are caused by a burst blood vessel in the brain — causes bleeding into or around the brain.
- Sometimes brain functions affected by a stroke can be restored through rehabilitation therapy to retrain other parts of the brain.
- This ability to adapt and change is known as plasticity.
In the United States more than 700,000 people suffer a stroke each year. Approximately two-thirds of these individuals survive and require stroke rehabilitation.
The goals of stroke rehabilitation are to help survivors become as independent as possible and to attain the best possible quality of life. Even though stroke rehabilitation does not reverse brain damage, rehabilitation can substantially help people achieve the best possible long-term outcome.
Goals for Stroke Rehab
- Relearning to take care of your own personal needs (i.e. dressing, eating, bathing etc.)
- Safety in your home including training your family members and caregivers to help you in safe and effective ways.
- Relearning to use your affected arm and/or leg.
- Regaining your speech and thinking abilities.
- Helping you and your family to cope with the life changes that stroke recovery often includes.