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Stroke and neurological rehabilitation

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:47 pm
Blockage in an artery that leads to the brain can cause a stroke, which causes part of the brain to die from lack of blood flow. A stroke can be debilitating and many of the aftereffects may be permanent. Most stroke survivors go from an inpatient hospital setting to some form of outpatient rehabilitation service. Some receive home health services, including nursing care. The team of rehabilitation professionals starts with a medical doctor called a 'physiatrist' (fiz-zee-A-trist), who specializes in rehabilitation and directs the team effort. Other professionals who add their expertise to the effort include rehabilitation nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, neuropsychologists, and therapeutic recreation specialists. A stroke survivor may have to learn basic skills, such as walking, speaking, getting dressed, and even using the bathroom. Most programs include motion and conditioning exercises, wheelchair mobility, speech and language therapy, and cognitive and perceptual retraining. Both stroke victims and their families may later wish to join support groups.
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