Your mindset may affect the aftermath of a stroke

Chris Fountain says he ‘felt really stupid’ after mini-stroke

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According to the research conducted by the American Heart Association, stroke survivors who had an optimistic outlook had lower levels of inflammation after three months.

The conclusion was reached after a study of stroke survivors and an examination of the relationship between optimism, inflammation, stroke severity, and physical disability.

The team behind the study said that these elements could provide a scientific framework that could shape future stroke recovery strategies.

As to why this is the case is because post-stroke inflammation harms the brain and slows recovery.

The team found that optimism was associated with lower inflammation levels and improved outcomes for patients.

Talking about the research, the study’s first author Yunju Lai said: “Our results suggest that optimistic people have a better disease outcome, thus boosting morale may be an ideal way to improve mental health and recovery after a stroke.”

Lai added: “Patients and their families should know the importance of a positive environment that could benefit the patient. Mental health does affect recovery after a stroke.”

However, there are a couple of caveats to this study.

The first of these is that it was a very small study, of just 49 patients.

The second is that this was a pilot study, one of the first of the kind with very few precursors to add credibility to these findings.

As a result, more research is required to establish a link between optimism and stroke recovery.

Furthermore, while recovery post stroke is essential, the aim is to reduce the risk of a stroke occurring in the first place.

The NHS has some guidance on the matter: “One of the main avenues of prevention is diet.” It explains further: “An unhealthy diet can increase your chances of having a stroke because it may lead to an increase in your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

“A low-fat, high-fibre diet is usually recommended, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (five a day) and wholegrains.

“Ensuring a balance in your diet is important. Do not eat too much of any single food, particularly foods high in salt and processed foods.

“You should limit the amount of salt you eat to no more than 6g (0.2oz) a day as too much salt will increase your blood pressure: 6g of salt is about one teaspoonful.”

Exercise too, is a beneficial way to reduce your risk of a stroke occurring. On this the NHS advises: “Combining a healthy diet with regular exercise is the best way to maintain a healthy weight.

“Regular exercise can also help lower your cholesterol and keep your blood pressure healthy.

“For most people, at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week is recommended.

“If you’re recovering from a stroke, you should discuss possible exercise plans with the members of your rehabilitation team.”

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