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Cognitive Rehabilitation after a Stroke

Stroke is a cerebrovascular disease that occurs when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain bursts or is clogged by a blood clot or some other particle. If the blood supply which carries oxygen to the brain is stopped, the brain cells cannot function and die. This is the brain’s equivalent of a heart attack.

This is also called a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), embolism, or thrombosis.

Types of strokes

There are two types:

  1. Hemorrhagic stroke or cerebral hemorrhage: a rupturing of a blood vessel, causing bleeding into the surrounding brain.
  2. Ischemic stroke: a restriction or interruption of blood supply to brain tissues.

What causes a stroke?

Are strokes preventable? The answer is clear and conclusive: yes.

Unmodifiable risk factors for CVA include age, gender, race/ethnicity, family history, and having had a prior CVA:

However, there are other risk factors that can be controlled:

The goal is to correct these risks factors to prevent a CVA.

Stroke prevention

According to the American Stroke Association more than 80% of strokes are preventable. Some preventions strategies recommended involve healthy habits such as:

Stroke symptoms: the importance of early detection of CVA

What are the signs of a stroke?

If left untreated, a CVA can lead to irreversible damage and possibly even death. Learning the warning signs of a stroke is essential to minimizing the consequences.

Symptoms of a CVA:


Treatment for stroke

What should you do if someone (or even yourself) is having a CVAIt is critical to get to the hospital as quickly as possible to receive emergency neurological care since some treatments must be started within the first few hours from the onset of the symptoms. The sooner the patient gets treatment, the better the chances of his/her survival and recovery.

While treatment for stroke depends on whether it is ischemic or hemorrhagic, regardless, it should begin as soon as possible. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the blood clot from an artery.

Stroke recovery

Finally, depending on the sequelae of CVA, patients will undergo rehabilitation involving physical therapy to regain mobility in the areas that are affected as a result of paralysis; however, it is also necessary to bear in mind that the recovery process following a CVA goes well beyond physical rehabilitation. Stroke survivors should as well start cognitive rehabilitation therapy to help them recoveras much function as possible.

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Confabulations can be defined as false memories due to a retrieval problem, where the patient is unaware that he/she is confabulating and has the belief that the memory is true[1]. In a previous post, the classification, neuropathology and underlying cognitive mechanisms that contribute to the appearance of confabulations were briefly explained. In this second part, the major neuropsychological…

Continue Reading Confabulations (Vol. II): theoretical models

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Awareness of deficits in recovery from acquired brain injury

The study of consciousness remains a mystery to contemporary science. However, it is increasingly becoming a key factor in the recovery of patients who have suffered an acquired brain injury. Many therapeutic processes of neuropsychological rehabilitation fail because they cannot count on the patient’s collaboration, as he or she does not adhere to the prescribed…

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Cognitive rehabilitation can be defined as the set of procedures applied to improve various abilities and skills such as attention, memory, language or executive functions among others. The aim is to promote greater functional independence in a wide variety of daily life situations (Wood, 1994). In this article we focus on the neuropsychological rehabilitation of…

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What is ABI? Acquired brain injury (ABI) is the result of a sudden injury to the brain that produces various physical, psychological and sensory sequelae, causing abnormalities in sensory perception, cognitive alterations and emotional disturbances. Most common causes of ABI The most common causes of ABI are cerebrovascular accidents (CVA or stroke), traumatic brain injury…

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Confabulations (Vol. I): classification, neuropathology and cognitive mechanisms

Confabulation, sometimes called “honest lying” is a cognitive phenomenon that can be seen in several acquired neurological conditions as well as in some psychiatric disorders. Although the term confabulation is currently used to refer to false perceptions of body states or the external world (non-mnesic confabulations), it has traditionally referred to false products of the memory (mnesic confabulations)…

Continue Reading Confabulations (Vol. I): classification, neuropathology and cognitive mechanisms

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