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Rehabilitation and Medications After a Stroke

Rehabilitation During the Stroke Recovery Period

Stroke rehabilitation helps survivors relearn skills that are lost when part of the brain is damaged. For example, these skills can include coordinating leg movements in order to walk or carrying out the steps involved in any complex activity. Rehabilitation also teaches survivors new ways of performing tasks to compensate for any residual disabilities.
The goals of stroke rehabilitation are to help survivors become as independent as possible and to attain the best possible quality of life. Even though rehabilitation does not "cure" stroke in that it does not reverse brain damage, it can help people achieve the best possible long-term outcome. Although survivors may regain a majority of functional abilities soon after a stroke, recovery after a stroke is an ongoing process.
Successful stroke rehab will depend on the:
  • Amount of damage to the brain
  • Skill on the part of the rehabilitation team
  • Cooperation of family and friends
  • Timing of rehabilitation -- the earlier it begins, the more likely survivors are to regain lost abilities and skills.

Medications Used for Stroke Recovery

Doctors may recommend a number of different medications to help people recover from a stroke. They prescribe some medications to treat risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure or atrial fibrillation. Other medications help reduce the risk of blood clots forming. If you do take medicine during your recovery period, it's important to maintain your healthy lifestyle, because healthy daily habits will keep your dose of medicines as low as possible.
For someone who has suffered an ischemic stroke, doctors may prescribe the following medications to reduce the chances of another stroke:
  • Anticoagulants
  • Antiplatelets.
Anticoagulants reduce the risk of another stroke by decreasing the ability for blood to clot and also prevent existing clots from growing. These drugs are particularly useful in preventing the formation of clots in people with atrial fibrillation. The most commonly used anticoagulants for stroke treatment include:
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