Stroke

What Is It?

A loss of oxygen to the brain caused by a blockage within a blood vessel or a bleed within the brain the causes neural tissue to die.

Stroke is a leading cause of disability within the United States. Strokes can be caused by vascular disease, chronic heart conditions, aging, drug use and poor lifestyle. Complications of stroke include motor deficits, emotional dysregulation and cognitive complications. One of the most common complications associated with stroke are language deficits. Ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke to the left hemisphere can cause aphasia.

 

Aphasia affects over 1 million Americans. Aphasia can be characterized as a loss of being able to produce and understand language. Participating in social situations can be unpleasant, as patients may become frustrated when they are not able to articulate what they would like to say or have difficulty comprehending language. Additionally, stigma is attached to the loss of language ability and people may be treated as less intellectual.

What Can Be Done?

 

Treatment for stroke includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychotherapy and cognitive rehabilitation. Medications such as blood thinners can be given to prevent further strokes from occurring.

 

Cognitive complications of stroke vary according to the location of the lesion. Patients with stroke can have difficulty with language if the stroke occurs on the left hemisphere. Treatment for language deficits can involve working with a speech therapist one-on-one or attending an aphasia support group.

 

Cognitive remediation therapy can assist with language and other cognitive complications. Teaching new strategies to recognize words, retrieve words, form sentences, comprehend written material, and encourage fluency help patients with stroke reenter their community and engage with others.

How Can HappyNeuron Pro Be Used During Stroke Rehabilitation?

 

HappyNeuron Pro can be used as a tool to continue therapy outside of the clinic. You can assign your patient various exercises that target language and other cognitive functions impacted by stroke. With each exercise, you can customize them to your patient’s needs. As the clinician, you can set the level of difficulty, duration, response time, number of stimuli, type of stimuli, and create custom exercise plans for your patient. As your patient uses HappyNeuron Pro, you can view their progress and identify areas they are still struggling with to better focus your therapy sessions on those issues.

 

You can utilize our exercises to directly focus on areas of cognition affected by stroke. Here are just a few that we suggest:

Split Words

Assists with word retrieval using lexical cues.

Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Splitwords
Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise This Story is Full of Blanks

This Story is Full of Blanks

Requires patient to use their own vocabulary and grammatical knowledge to put together a coherent text with logical meaning.

Words Where Are You?

This exercise requires you to remember where words are on a screen. Trains visual and spatial memory in addition to perception.

Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Words Where are You?
happyneuronpro-root-it-out

Root it Out!

Trains memory preservation and extinction.

Elephant Memory

Trains strategy techniques to memorize material without learning it by heart.

Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Elephant Memory
Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Seize the Keywords

Seize the Keywords!

Engages written comprehension skills while training memory of events, times, places, and associated emotions by focusing on key words and finding logical associations between them.

Writing in the Stars

Trains logical reasoning for use in keeping track of appointments and engaging in group activities.

Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Writing in the Stars
Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Secret Files

Secret Files

Targets concentration and deductive reasoning for problem solving.

In addition to these exercises, we provide more content that focuses on other domains of cognition such as Memory, Executive Function, Visual Memory, Processing Speed, Auditory Processing, and Verbal Memory.

 

As you work with your client, you can identify overlapping cognitive issues that may be impacting their ability to engage with the world around them. Our other exercises can assist with these complications, and you can address them in and outside of the clinical setting using HappyNeuron Pro.

How Do We Fit Into Your Care Plan for Your Stroke Patients?

 

Stroke rehabilitation involves a team of various clinicians. Neurologists, neuro-psychologists, speech therapists, and occupational therapists use us in their therapeutic intervention for stroke.

 

Your patient may be in the acute stage of recovery (2 weeks) or in the chronic stage (6+ months). Some patients with stroke can return home, while others need assisted care. We can be adapted into a medical practice, home based therapy setting, and even a specialized care facility. For speech, therapists have used our software for individual as well as group sessions. Great icebreakers for aphasia support groups include Split Words, Sleight of Hands, and Shapes and Colors. These exercises can encourage individuals to speak and provide some needed laughter when patients are engaging. To do group work, you can connect an HDMI cord from the computer to a television screen to carry out a group session for stroke survivors.

 

To see how we can be integrated into your practice and assist your clinicians providing care to stroke patients, take time and complete our 15 Day Free Trial. You are able to access all of our digital content, as well as our free resources for additional material to use during your therapy sessions with your clients. If you are a researcher, please contact us about using our software for your research study.

Page last updated on Jan 10,2020

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