Smart Ways to Recover from Stroke and Prevent a Second One

Fifty years ago, doctors and researchers thought recovery from stroke was limited. A patient going from a bed to a chair was deemed a success. Today, physical therapists and rehabilitation experts have much higher expectations for what their patients can achieve and will work much longer to help them achieve it. Doctors know that the brain can remodel itself so they will work with patients to stimulate that remodeling. To find out how to ensure the best outcome, visit bit.ly/StrongerAfterStroke, which includes information on how to recognize a stroke and tips for preventing a stroke. 

Make Dating Easier after a Diagnosis

Dating isn't easy in the best of time, but when you have a neurologic condition, especially one that could be progressive, it's even more daunting. Where do you find good dating prospects? When do you reveal your condition—and how much do you reveal—if it's not evident? How do you handle rejection if it's based on your condition, and even if it's not? How do you handle the simple logistics of a date if you aren't able to drive or even take public transportation? To get some answers, go to bit.ly/NN-Dating. We can't guarantee that you'll meet your soul mate, but we think these tips will make your dating life easier and more fun.

Dilbert Creator Talks About Recovering from Spasmodic Dysphonia

Scott Adams, the creator of the comic strip Dilbert, endured a three-year bout of spasmodic dysphonia, a rare neurologic condition that interferes with the smooth functioning of the muscles of the larynx when they attempt to produce sounds. The resulting spasms cause the voice to sound strained, squeezed, or strangled. Some people also have tremor that cause vocal wavering or find that their voice drops to a whisper. The experience nearly drove Adams to suicide. Read more about his story at bit.ly/NN-HavingHisSay.

Exercise in Midlife Protects the Brain in Late Life

A recent study found that people who exercise in midlife experience less cognitive impairment in late life. And people who are sedentary are more impaired. The results are from the Finnish Twin Cohort, a long-running study (1974 through 1999) of identical twins, looking at genetic and environmental risk factors for chronic disorders. The participants' average age was 49 at the start of the study and 74 at the end. Learn more about the study and the best type of exercise for your brain at bit.ly/NN-MidlifeExercise. For more about exercise, visit our archives here.

Mind Your Weight

Obesity has long been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. New evidence reveals a link between excess weight and neurologic conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, migraine, depression, Alzheimer's disease, narcolepsy, and even carpal tunnel syndrome. What's more, being overweight or obese has been identified as a risk factor for cognitive decline later in life. The point at which excess weight increases the risk of developing neurologic disorders varies from one condition and individual to another and is based on genetic factors, underlying health conditions, lifestyle factors, and other considerations. But for many disorders, the risk begins to rise precipitously at a body mass index (BMI) of 30. For more information, including tips for losing weight, visit bit.ly/NN-Weight.

Neurology Now Basics provide key information on individual neurologic conditions, including what causes each condition, how common it is, how it is diagnosed and treated, and what research is being conducted.