Dr. Alireza Minagar Discusses the Necessity of Brain Rehabilitation Following a Stroke
Out of the 795,000 people that experience a stroke each year, about 140,000 will die as a result of the stroke. For the other 655,000 people, rehabilitation may be a viable option to aid in recovery.
When strokes occur, they have direct effects on the brain, which is why brain rehabilitation is often a part of the recovery process. After a stroke, your brain may need to relearn skills you already know, like eating, writing, and dressing yourself. Dr. Alireza Minagar is currently a professor of neurology at LSU Health Science Center and published medical author, needless to say, Dr. Minagar is an expert in neurology — he graciously took the time to discuss the necessity of brain rehabilitation following a stroke.
While brain rehabilitation isn’t a cure-all for stroke victims, it can help you to rewire your brain to a healthier state, regain independence over time, and help you live the highest quality of life possible.
What is Brain Rehabilitation?
Brain rehabilitation therapy is designed to help people who have suffered brain injuries to restore functions. This could include a number of things, from learning to walk and feed yourself to speaking and thinking logically. While brain rehabilitation isn’t a cure-all for stroke victims, it is worth noting that it can help you to rewire your brain to a healthier state, regain independence over time, and help you live the highest quality of life possible.
Because brain injuries can affect people in different ways, brain rehabilitation is a highly specialized effort tailored to the individual. Brain injuries can vary depending on the area of the brain that is impacted, and Dr. Alireza Minagar explains the affected areas determine the impact of the injury to bodily functions.
Strokes are one of the most common events that require brain rehabilitation. When you have a stroke, you may begin brain rehabilitation while you’re in the hospital. Rehab efforts will continue after you go home and will continue as long as necessary.
According to Dr. Minagar, brain rehabilitation is broken down into three distinct categories:
● Physical therapy
● Speech therapy
● Occupational therapy
The physical therapy aspect will focus on restoring movement and motor skills, such as walking with or without assistance, swallowing, and regaining range of motion.
Speech therapy helps you to restore your own speech as well as understanding others’ speech. It also helps you to focus on listening and comprehension.
Occupational therapists will work with you to help you relearn daily tasks, such as holding items, dressing and bathing yourself, and writing.
Your doctor will recommend a treatment plan for you based on the severity of your brain injury and monitor your progress.
Setting Realistic Expectations for Post-Stroke Rehab
It’s essential to set the right expectations of brain rehab from the start. Many people believe that results will happen overnight or that full brain function will be restored, but neither of these beliefs are true.
Most people that undergo brain rehab are able to restore some functionality that helps you become more independent. While it is not a cure that will bring you “back to normal,” it can significantly mitigate the effects of a stroke or other brain injuries over time.
Also, there is no single-best treatment plan or timeline, as brain injuries affect each person differently. Seeing immediate results doesn’t often happen according to Dr. Alireza Minagar, and the road to recovery can be long and difficult. Those who stick with a treatment plan will see the best results, so take any sign of improvement as a step in the right direction.