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Stroke Smart Magazine

July/August 2008

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Shop Around for Prescription Drugs
Consumer Reports found that prices for prescription drugs fluctuate dramatically from one pharmacy to another. Prices can vary by more than $100 depending on the town and even neighborhood where the drugs are purchased. To get the best deal, be sure to call several different stores in your area to compare prices before you buy. Requesting generic drugs when available is another way to pay less.

Treadmill Training May Help Stroke Survivors Walk Better
A Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation study showed that a specialized treadmill may help stroke survivors walk again. After stroke many survivors develop an abnormal gait. With “locomotor treadmill training,” researchers fitted patients into a harness to support their body weight. Gradually the support was lessened until the patient was walking without assistance. All seven patients in the study learned to walk with a normal gait pattern without the use of a cane. The study was published in the April 2008 issue of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation journal. Research on the use of treadmill training with partial body support continues to be conducted at a variety of facilities with positive results.

CIMT Therapy and Motor Skills
Studies are finding that constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) may help stroke survivors regain some use of their motor skills. Also known as forced use movement therapy, CIMT involves forcing the use of the weak arm by restricting use of the unaffected arm. A recent study published in the journal Stroke showed measurable increases in the brain’s gray matter among patients who underwent CIMT. The thought is that CIMT may have improved the damaged part of the study participants’ brains and increased brain function in the area of movement. On the downside, the treatment is costly and not covered by insurance companies. A two-week CIMT treatment can cost $10,000 to $15,000. However, researchers are hopeful that, with more conclusive studies, they will be able to get insurance companies to help pay for the therapy in time.

Substance P and Stroke
Australian Scientists at the University of Adelaide and IMVS Centre for Neurological Diseases are researching the role of “Substance P” in preventing brain damage and death from stroke. Substance P has been linked to brain hemorrhage (bleeding), which tends to increase brain damage and death rates due to stroke. The research will focus on blocking Substance P to see if that reduces damage and improves patient outcome.

Women More Likely to Take Medicines, Despite Post-Stroke Depression
A new study has found that women are more likely than men to be depressed after stroke, but are more likely to take the medicines prescribed to them by their doctor. When it came to depression, nearly 20 percent of the women stroke survivors reported feeling depressed, compared to 10 percent of the men. Meanwhile 30 percent of women reported sleep problems, compared to 22 percent of men. Nearly 80 percent of all study participants, including both men and women, were still taking their stroke drugs three months later. However, the men who were depressed were less likely to take their medicines. Researchers concluded that depression and a poorer quality of life did not impact motivation to take medicine in women as much as it did in men.

Not Too Late to File for Economic Stimulus Check
Retirees, disabled veterans and those who normally do not file tax returns have until october 15 to file a 2007 form and recieve an economic stimulus payment. The tax rebate is a unique opportunity for additional income that is not taxable and will not affect your 2007 or 2008 tax returns in any way. Furthermore, the IRS has assured that the stimulus payments will not count toward or negatively impact any income-based government benefits, such as Social Security benefits or food stamps. Even if you do not have enough taxable income to file a return, you still have to submit a form as an automatic application for the stimulus payment. For more information, visit http://www.irs.gov/ and go to the "Free File - Economic Stimulus payment" section.




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National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.

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