May Is Stroke Awareness Month
Each year about 795,000 Americans experience a new or recurring stroke. About 85 percent of strokes are ischemic, which means they are caused by blockage of a blood vessel, usually by a blood clot. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by bleeding in or near the brain. Learn more of the basics here. To read more about stroke, including risk factors and ways to lower those risks, visit our archives.
Ease Chronic Pain with Meditation
Chronic pain is a symptom of many neurologic diseases—and can be challenging to manage. Now a new study offers hope of another therapy option. Published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the study shows that mindfulness meditation may reduce perceptions of pain by as much as 24 percent—and that meditation may use a different pathway in the brain than opioids to block pain. Read more about the study and its implications for pain here.
For many people with neurologic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, migraine, and neuropathy, a massage is more than a luxurious indulgence. It's therapeutic, helping to restore circulation and mobility, reduce pain, and improve well-being. Learn more about the benefits of massage, including how to do it at home, here.
Art Triggers Memory
Painting, drawing, and other forms of art therapy help people with Alzheimer's disease access memories. People with Parkinson's disease whose tremors prevent them from holding a pen to write, often find fluidity when painting a canvas. Stroke survivors who can't speak may find their voice after engaging in art therapy. Scientists are still puzzling out the mechanism behind art therapy's ability to trigger memory and language. Find out more here.
A Stroke Leaves Writer Unable to Read
In January 2008, Esmeralda Santiago, the author of the memoir When I Was Puerto Rican and novels including America's Dream, The Turkish Lover, and Conquistadora, had a stroke. One of the consequences of her stroke was the inability to read—no small matter for a writer. Learn how she reclaimed the world of books here.