Sunday, January 27, 2019

Wanna move better after stroke? Watch the Super Bowl.

There's this thing called "action observation" and you can use to promote your own recovery. 
     In simple terms, action observation (AO) is what humans use to communicate with each other. We had it (evolutionarily) even before we had the ability to speak. Let's say, you and I are in the same tribe and we're hunting big game, and we can't yell for fear of spooking our next meal. We can communicate a lot through facial expression and body movement. Humans used AO in hunter-gatherer tribes to be able to communicate intention, movement, pain, sadness, excitement, etc. This survival tool allowed us to express our human experiences quickly and accurately. 
     In some ways AO can be expressed in one word:
Empathy. You feel what I feel, I feel what you feel. Most of this is processed in the much-discussed mirror neurons; specialized nerve cells in the brain that  allow us to feel what others are feeling. 
      If I observe you burning your hand, my mirror neurons activate, and I'll wince. If I observe you throwing a tight spiral, my neurons will feel that movement.

How can you use AO in your recovery?
      Let's say you're a survivor trying to make you walking beter, faster, and with less fear of falling. Observe other people walking. Feel them walking. There is quite a few researchers yelling from the tallest buildings: This helps people recover! 
       Listen to them!

Here are some links to action observation in stroke:

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Some Good News: New Guidelines will help Ischaemic (block) survivors.

This month the American Stroke Association issued new guidelines that will help people who have had a stroke. Unfortunately, for most of the readers of this blog, "that ship has sailed" because these recommendations cover the first 24 hours post stroke. Still the guidelines are good news; they  will lesson the severity of stroke going forward.

And they come with a cool graphic!

Original article in the Journal of stroke here.
Simplified version here.

Blog Archive