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Study: Social Activities May Boost Cognition After Stroke

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Recovering from a stroke doesnít end with the first weeks of acute care and the period of functional rehabilitation that follows. Negative effects of a stroke can present themselves well past the initial event.

One potential problem is the development of dementia. Having a stroke doubles a personís risk for dementia. And nearly 30 percent of people who survive a stroke experience the onset of dementia up to 15 months after the stroke happens.

In healthy older adults, exercise training and a social network that allows both intellectual and social engagement have been shown to be effective measures for staving off dementia. In a study appearing in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases, researchers examined the effectiveness of these strategies for stroke survivors. They worked with 28 study participants who had a stroke no more recently than one year before.

Participants were randomly assigned to a control group that received usual care and an intervention group. The intervention group was enrolled in a community-based program with regular twice-weekly exercise training and an additional hour of recreation and leisure activities. After a nine-month intervention and a six-month follow-up, the intervention group demonstrated better performance than the control group in not only functional abilities but also executive thinking.

Recovering from a stroke takes more than time. It requires an ongoing support network that can provide both the physical and mental tools necessary for good health.

Posted in Hypertension and Stroke on February 25, 2016

Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer

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