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Recovery from stroke: Harnessing the brain's capacity to overcome disability

By Andi Horvath

Stroke rehabilitation researcher Prof. Julie Bernhardt discusses the state of the science in stroke recovery. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Prof Bernhardt and her team develop and test new exercises and rehabilitation measures that aim not only to reduce disability but promote recovery. This includes renewed attention to precise timing of therapeutic interventions, and to environmental enrichment of clinical spaces.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

ANDI HORVATH

I'm Dr Andi Horvath. Thanks for joining us. Today, we bring you up close to the latest research into maximising people's recovery from stroke, harnessing the capacity of the brain and body to overcome or bypass the disabilities caused by this major health calamity. A stroke is when the blood supply, and therefore the essential oxygen supply to brain cells, are suddenly cut off, compromising or damaging that particular area of the brain. The results can be debilitating, both physically and mentally, and accounts for one in 20 deaths in developed countries. Just how impaired people's motor activity or speech are, after a stroke, depends on the stroke's type and severity.

But on the recovery side, there's a growing body of evidence that proper, exercise-based intervention, delivered at the right time, goes a long way to getting stroke survivors back into near normal lives. Our guest on Up Close today has been working with stroke survivors for three decades. Professor Julie Bernhardt, who originally trained as a physiotherapist, now heads a global and multidisciplinary team of researchers looking into maximising recovery from stroke, and reducing the burden of stroke-related...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.