Stroke: what are the best recovery techniques?

L’stroke is here the number one cause of disability in adults. damaged brain, motor skills, memory and language may be affected depending on the intensity, location and type of stroke (hemorrhagic or ischemic). Supported as soon as possible, these consequences are not not a fatality. Recovery of speech or motor skills is possible. After returning home, various treatments can be offered, such as treatment with a physiotherapist, a Speech therapist or in a hospital department specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation. In a report published on 4 July 2022, the High Authority for Health (HAS) summarizes the most effective techniques (Source 1).

The brain is capable of create new neural circuits in order to overcome the deficiencies (difficulties in walking, speaking, etc.) which are consequences of stroke. Professor Alexis Schnitzler describes this phenomenon of plasticity : “During a stroke, part of the brain is deprived of oxygen and sugar. Some cells are then put to sleep, others are destroyed. Sleeper cells will be able to wake up within 3 to 6 months, provided they are stimulated. Rehabilitation serves to optimize this natural process. »

Walking, universal treatment

L’hemiplegiais the primary consequence of AVC and results in a more or less severe paralysis on one side of the body. At the same time, patients often have cognitive impairment of memory and attentionas well as speech difficulties (aphasia).

Walking – andPhysical activity in general – improves all these parameters, not only motor skills. Alexis Schnitzler explains why: “When we walk, the neurological structures dedicated to motor skills are mobilized and, at the same time, neurotransmitters are secreted. This means that the transmission of messages between neurons improves and the brain receives more oxygen and sugar. This process facilitates its plasticity and consequently the recovery of motor skills and stroke globally. »

To be efficient,necessary walking or engage in physical activity at least 45 minutes a week. The more we move, the more we increase the chances of recovering motor skills.

Virtual reality earns its stripes

Video games, augmented reality headset… new technologies have a side Playful on which the specialists of reeducation are supported. Purpose? Motivate their patients after a stroke.

After the hit,some people have difficulties in organizing them in their daily activities. Therefore, they can practice shopping in a virtual store. The helmet can also make them feel like they’re walking in the woods, which is more enjoyable than a treadmill in a rehab room.

“Virtual reality is not magic, but it is one more string to our bow”

A new technology to re-educate language in case of aphasia

Sessions ofspeech therapybased on dictation and articulation exercises, provide valuable help for aphasic patients. In its latest report, HAS states that transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can complement this classical method of treating this language disorder and increase the chances of recovery. The purpose of rTMS is to stimulate one cerebral hemisphere by exposing the patient to a magnetic field. “With this technique, the brain would be more favorable to work in speech therapy. But you should know that rTMS is not accessible everywhere in France”, notes the specialist.

Which doesn’t work. balneotherapy, acupuncture, music therapy… The High Authority for Health estimates that these techniques have not shown effective results in the treatment or rehabilitation after stroke.

Q&A with the expert

3 questions for Professor Alexis Schnitzler,head of the physical medicine and rehabilitation hospital unit at the Lariboisière-Fernand-Widal hospital (Paris)

After how long does it take to start rehab to recover? How to stimulate a person after a stroke?

Current recommendations are the beginning of treatment within 48 hours of motor and cognitive stimulation of strokewith the help of a medical team consisting of a Physiotherapists and a Speech therapist. Rehabilitation should be done at a reasonable pace so that it does not tire the patient.

How long is the support?

The greatest recovery progress has been made in the first 6 months. Beyond that, the benefit of rehabilitation with a physiotherapist or a liberal speech therapist is less obvious. The important message is that take care of your body and practice regular physical activity.

What consequences can we expect after a stroke? What could be the consequences and consequences?

  • one third of patients have recovered ;
  • a third sustains a moderate disability;
  • a third have a severe disability.

It is useful for him take stock at least once a year with a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

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