Posted in movement recovery after stroke stroke basics

Exercise helps the brain to recover movements after stroke

Exercise helps the brain to recover movements after a stroke. Here is how it happens! Exercise brings new neurons and new connections. This is exciting news; First, exercise stimulates neurons to release a special protein; the ” Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor” (in short, BDNF)1. This protein appears in blood only as a response to exercise. Keep in mind researchers have shown its presence as a response to aerobic exercise1; however, they believe resistance type of exercise too may also stimulate neurons to release this protein. What does this protein (BDNF) do? Second, this protein triggers a series of changes in multiple…

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Posted in stroke basics

Glial cells: Journeys to the brain-6

Glial cells with a neuron: Source: Open Stax.org RICE University under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license We know about neurons; do we know enough about Glial cells? In fact, glial cells outnumber neurons. And, they are very close allies of neurons. If they do not exist, neurons cannot exist. Types of glial cells There are three types of glial cells: Astrocytes, Microglia, and Oligodentrocytes. The diagram below illustrates them. Astrocytes As you can see, they look like stars and in contact with both neurons and the cells of the supply routes’ walls; in this case, the smallest branches of it –…

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Posted in stroke basics

Brain’s stroke recovery journey

In the brain’ stroke recovery journey, it jumps into action within minutes of the attack. This post chronicles this journey up to six months. The brain’s stroke recovery journeys speed varies with time; it works faster in the first three months and then slows down towards the sixth month. It is a continuous journey. However, for description and management purposes, subject experts classify the recovery journey into five phases; First 24 hours (hyperacute phase) First 7 days (acute phase) First 3 months (early sub-acute phase) Four – six months (late sub-acute phase) Six months after (chronic phase) First 24 hours…

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Posted in Communication after stroke stroke basics

Wernicke aphasia: “Fluent aphasia”

aphasia

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Posted in Communication after stroke stroke basics

Broca aphasia: “Non-fluent aphasia”

This journey (Journeys to the brain -12) travels again to the Broca area to explore Broca aphasia. You can read about the Broca area in the Broca area: Journeys to the brain-11 How a stroke causes the Broca aphasia A full-blown stroke blocks the brain’s blood supply. When it happens inside the anterior branch of the middle cerebral artery, the brain cells in the Broca area deprive of oxygen and nutrients. As a result, they begin to die each passing second at a rate of about 32,000 neurons per second!. The final result is this particular speech problem. What do really hapens…

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Posted in Communication after stroke stroke basics

Broca’s area: Journeys to the Brain-11

Paul Broca: Source: Wellcome Collection under the license of CC BY 4.0 Broca’s area plays a very important role in our speech. Prior to 1861, scientists debated whether the whole brain acted either as a single entity or contains specific regions. Pierre Paul Broca ended this debate in 1861. “Monsieur Tan” Prior to 1861, Pierre Paul Broca examined an adult male – Leborgne – who came with a right-sided paralysis. Pierre Paul Broca was a surgeon who had a special interest in physical anthropology. He had been studying the association between skull shapes and sizes with evolution. In addition to the…

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Posted in stroke basics

Neurons

An illustrated neuron graphic

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Posted in stroke basics

Neuron forest: Journeys to the brain-4

“Neuron” by NIH-NCATS is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Our brain contains about 100 billion neurons; it looks like a neuron forest. because a neuron is more or less similar to a tree. Neurons are a special kind of cell. At one end, it sprouts a large number of very thin short threads – “dendrites”. The ends of these receive electrical signals from other neurons via small fluid-filled ponds – “synapses”. The received signals pass along until it reaches the tree (cell) body. From there, it shoots away to the next neuron through another a thicker branch; it is named “Axon”. So, dendrites take…

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Posted in stroke basics

In a stroke, “Time is brain”

As soon as a stroke strikes, neurons in the affected area, who are deprived of oxygen, begin to die; each second costs as many as 32,000 neurons, 230 million synapses, and 200 meters of axons. In terms of minutes, each passing minute costs 1.9 million neurons, 13.8 billion synapses, and 12 kilometres of axonal fibres1. Stroke kills 32,000 neurons each passing second. Saver J.L. (20051) So, every second counts when a stroke hits; that is why “Time is Brain”.  “Time is Brain”, but only as a general rule As far back as 1993, Dr Camilo R. Gomez2 coined this exhortation – “Time is Brain”…

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Posted in stroke basics

Types of stroke: Journeys to the brain-8

The term, “stroke” refers to a sudden stoppage of blood flow to a part of the brain. It can happen either due to a block to a supply route (artery) or a blast (rupture) in a supply route. Experts classify these into different types of stroke. The block to a supply route occurs due to a blood clot that lodges within a blood supplying vessel, an artery, or one of its smaller branches. Medical terms In the medical field, “stroke” is called “cerebrovascular accident” (in short, CVA). A stroke due to blockage due to a blood clot is called “ischemic…

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