Cognitive therapy may aid in stroke recovery process

Cognitive therapy may aid in stroke recovery processA new study has found that it may be possible to improve impaired attention in those who have suffered a stroke, which in turn could aid further recovery.

Impaired attention is a common neuropsychological side effect of stroke and can significantly reduce cognitive productivity, the ability to focus on tasks and the overall quality of life.

Scientists from New Zealand recently conducted a clinical trial using Attention Process Training (APT) in which 78 stroke survivors were randomized to receive APT or standard rehabilitation care. APT is designed to improve the ability to maintain attention, as well as to shift attention and to attend to more than one thing at a time.

The researchers reported that people who underwent APT had a significantly greater improvement on a test of attention than those who received standard care. After six months, those who had APT had an average improvement of 2.49 standard deviations higher than standard care patients.

Of course, health practitioners stress stroke prevention should be the priority for individuals as their age.

Lifestyle changes that may help those at risk of cardiovascular disease include a healthy diet, appropriate body weight, quitting smoking and routine screenings for high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.