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Specific exercises yield good results for stroke patients

Created date

March 22nd, 2011

A study involving several U.S. stroke rehabilitation centers showed that over half of stroke patients who participated in either of two physical therapy programs experienced improved walking ability, including increased walking speed and better balance. The study, led by physical therapist Pamela W. Duncan, PT, Ph.D., included 408 participants with an average age of 62. One group used a walking program that included a body-weight supported treadmill (in which the body weight is partially supported by a sling) and the other group used a home-based exercise program that focused on improving strength and balance. Both groups had similarly good results in functional walking ability and improved quality of life. In addition, as compared to stroke patients who received standard therapies, study participants had twice as much improvement at the six-month mark. Duncan concludes that patients recover faster when they receive early intervention.

Stroke medicines unaffordable for some patients

Research presented by the University of Michigan shows that even with Medicare Part D coverage, many people can t afford to pay for their medications after having a stroke. After a stroke, some people are prescribed medications like anticoagulants and other cardiovascular drugs, many of which can be expensive. A survey conducted between 2006 and 2009 showed that up to 12% of stroke survivors with Medicare Part D didn t take their medications because of cost.

Not taking prescribed medicines places people at a high risk for another stroke or other health problems.

Researchers conclude that physicians may be able to reduce the risk of recurrent strokes in their patients by simply asking them if they can afford their medical care and finding ways to give them access to needed medicines and care.