You read that headline correctly. You can recover from a stroke or other brain injury at home. And you can continue to make progress for a far longer time than previously thought -- up to a year.
The largest study ever conducted on stroke rehabilitation has revealed that intense physical therapy performed at home is just as good as physical therapy in an institutional setting. But the physical therapy has to be intense, and it has to occur within a year of the brain injury. The study is called the Locomotor Experience Applied Post-Stroke trial. The physical therapies tested were designed to enhance flexibility, range of motion, strength and balance -- all with the aim of improving walking. The study measured how well the patients could walk one year after the stroke.
To me this is phenomenal news, offering great hope. My own mother suffered from a major stroke, and it was incredible to me to see how she gradually got back some of her abilities to speak and to do things, although she never really recovered. She had no physical therapy at all, just a lot of love and some good and bad care-givers.
You can read more about the study funded by the National Institutes of Health and involving the University of Southern California.
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