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The New Stroke Paradigm

Empowerment of individuals and
families, with guidance and support

For millennia, stroke was a mystery, was called “apoplexy” (a sudden blow from the gods) and nothing could be done about it. Even in the 20th century, there were limits. The injury could not be arrested and it was believed that recovery only occurred during the first months after onset.  

Today, the reality is much different. Primary and comprehensive stroke centers restore circulation to the brain with the medication t-PA, blood flow restoration devices and other comprehensive care.

Also, progress in rehabilitation has been made with new understanding and targeted application of neurological return and plasticity. Acute and subacute rehabilitation services are provided widely.

These services are provided by stroke professionals. A next advance should focus on what individuals, patients, survivors and families can do for themselves to prevent, respond to and recover from stroke.  

For example, over 80% of strokes can be prevented by healthy lifestyle, risk factor mitigation and proactive medical care. Citizens who practice self-care have fewer strokes and other illness. 

Further, to treat patients, stroke centers depend on prompt action by citizens. Bystanders must immediately recognize stroke signs and symptoms, call 911 and make sure that patients are taken to a stroke center. Time is brain 

In contrast, contrary to old beliefs, there is not a time limit on stroke recovery. Those who learn and practice the steps and skills of recovery can make continuous progress in physical, psychological and social functioning. 

In the new stroke paradigm, individuals and families are empowered, with guidance and support, to take actions in prevention, emergency response and recovery that no one else can do for them.  

We have to do it ourselves, but we don’t have to do it alone. 

Please click Here for a PDF copy of “The New Stroke Paradigm.