Kara Jo Swafford, MD
Stroke can be a devastating disease that afflicts millions of individuals and their families worldwide. Many survivors are left with long-term disability, compromising their quality of life. Stroke, however, is largely preventable and treatable, with new approaches for improving poststroke recovery being developed. Advances such as the use of thrombolytic therapy (clot busting drugs) and the advent of the use of clot removing devices can now minimize the effects of stroke and increase selected patients’ chances for survival and recovery.
Stroke recovery can be a long journey for the patient returning to family and community and poses its own set of challenges. The extent of recovery depends on the severity of the stroke, age and other health conditions, as well as the patient’s level of determination. Recovery is different for each individual, who must heal at his or her own pace. Stroke can cause anxiety, anger and depression. Having a strong support system helps to reduce stress and provides the opportunity to optimize recovery. When caring for someone following a stroke, allow them to assist with decisions involving their care as much as possible and encourage independence. As a stroke neurology community, let’s do our part and help our patients get #UpAgainAfterStroke.