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I have a male friend who had a stroke @ the age of 31. His left side (arm & leg) are still numb.

By Anonymous January 8, 2010 - 2:27pm
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I have a male friend who had a stroke @ the age of 31. His left side (arm & leg) are still numb. Do you have any suggestions besides physical therapy that may aid him on his way to getting well again. His stroke was 3 years ago

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Hi and thanks for your question.

I am sorry to hear of your friends condition, it must be difficult for him and all those close to him. Sadly, strokes can impact anyone at any age. It is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

A stroke occurs when there is a loss of blood flow and therefore oxygen to the brain. This ultimately results in the destruction of the brain tissue that is affected. The specific abilities that will be lost or affected by stroke depend on the extent of the brain damage and most importantly where in the brain the stroke occurred. The brain is an incredibly complex organ, and each area within the brain has responsibility for a particular function or ability.

Here are some important statistics on strokes:

Of those patients that survive the initial stroke, 25 % die within the first year. However, the average post-stroke survival rate for stroke victims is 7 years.
The level of recovery from a stroke really depends on the severity of it. Around 15-30% of stroke survivors are left permanently disabled, and 14% of those who have a first stroke will have another stroke within one year.
Stroke recovery is also affected by how quickly the patient receives treatment. To prevent serious disability, you need to get to a hospital and get treatment within one hour.

Unfortunately some abilities cannot be recovered and are permanent. 50% of stroke victims will have some form of paralysis on one side of their body. Others may improve with therapy and with time some will recover completely.

Recovery largely depends on the extent of damage that has been done to the brain. It also depends on what treatment is available to the patient after their stroke. It has been shown that without professional treatment very few stroke survivors will regain functionality in their body.

Determination and perseverance is also incredibly important. Many stroke victims suffer from depression and anxiety following their stroke, which can seriously impact their chance of recovery.

A supportive network of family and friends is also a very crucial part of increasing stroke victims’ survival rate. Not only does it help the patients beat feelings of depression and loneliness, but it gives them motivation to fight for their lives and strive towards something.

It is also important that stroke survivors work towards keeping themselves fit and healthy to prevent another stroke from happening.

Some of the main factors affecting the recurrence of stroke include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity and poor diet.

Is your friend currently seeking any therapy or help?

Here are some good resources for stroke victims and their family members.


January 8, 2010 - 8:50pm
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