SCM Spring 2012

Updated:Nov 11,2016

Stroke Connection Spring 2012 Cover
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Spirits Expressing – Artful Recovery
Art is a way to express the spirit within. In this issue, survivor and sculptor Tesi Sanchez-Halbert of Ventura, Calif. creates whimsical sculptures that make you laugh. She says her sculptures have been a way to validate her worth when she lost her job after a stroke at 48. Survivor and artist Gary Bachers of New Boston, Texas uses his deeply meditative drawings to communicate with the world after a stroke took his speech at 38. Despite years of rehab, he never regained the use of his dominant right side, and 24 years later he still has expressive aphasia. For both survivors, making art has been an important part of recovery, a rewarding way to express the spirit within.

SC Online Extra: More from art therapist Elizabeth Cockey on Becoming An Artist: How to Get Started

Other articles include:

Harnessing the Power of Plasticity: What We Know And What We’re Learning
The ability of the nervous system to respond to stimulation (internal and external) by reorganizing its structure seems miraculous. But the truth is it’s going on all the time. Neuroplasticity is a part of all learning, at any age. And neuroplasticity is what enables stroke survivors to recover function years after a stroke. Though neuroplasticity can include growing a limited number of new brain cells, something thought impossible just a few years ago, it is primarily accomplished by making new connections among neurons. Dr. Alexander Dromerick of the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C. and Dr. Steven Cramer of the University of California, Irvine provide their expertise about both the current science and what that new knowledge may mean for stroke recovery.

When Folks Have Second Strokes
Of the 795,000 Americans who experience a stroke each year, about a quarter of them, 185,000, are recurrent strokes. The warning signs for a second stroke may not be the same as the first, so it’s important to be familiar with them all. But even if you’ve made the effort to know them, how do you recognize symptoms in survivors who may be living with a deficit that mirrors one or more of those warning signs, e.g., they have paralysis or weakness on one side, slurred speech, uneven gait or aphasia? We talked with three neurologists about this issue: Dr. Chere Chase-Gregory and Dr. Benjamin Anyanwu, both neurologists at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Dr. Ralph Sacco, chairman of neurology at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami and a past president of the American Heart Association.


Life at the Curb
Comedian John Kawie’s unique perspective on survival. This month in “Always Something There to Remind Me,” John faces what he calls the “Highlight Magazine Hidden-Picture-Puzzle Syndrome.”

Stroke Notes features ‘newsy’ stroke-related information on stroke research, risk reduction, ASA events, advocacy efforts, etc.
• Blood Pressure Medicines Reduce Stroke Risk in People with Prehypertension
• Body and Mind Influence Quitting Smoking after Stroke
• Medicare Benefit for Obesity Screening and Counseling Will Help Combat Chronic Disease 
Readers Room features personal stories, letters, poems and artwork from stroke survivors and family caregivers.

Everyday Survival outlines how to talk with children about stroke in the family.