A stroke is the sudden death of brain cells in a localized area due to inadequate blood flow. Depending on the region of the brain affected, a stroke may cause paralysis, speech impairment, loss of memory and reasoning ability, coma, or death. A stroke also is sometimes called a brain attack or a cerebrovascular accident (CVA).1
Stroke remains a leading cause of long-term disability in the United States at a cost of $38 billion per year. About 650,000 persons survive a new stroke yearly and 7 million Americans live with the complications of stroke.2
Conventional therapy has traditionally involved physical, occupational, and speech therapy to adress continuing issues such as paralysis, weakness, trouble with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory, and problems understanding or forming speech.
Once you have had one stroke, there is a greatly increased risk for recurrence, especially in the time directly following the event. The treatment of underlying conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol, and diabetes is essential to prevent another stroke. Changes in diet and lifestyle are important to adress these issues, in addition to the other therapies provided.
As this article is being updated, we are facing a world wide pandemic. In December of 2019 a novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or COVID-19 as it is now known, has quickly spread worldwide. Emerging evidence suggests for a potential increased risk for cerebrovascular diseases in patients with COVID-19.3
Neurofeedback as an Adjunct Therapy in Stroke Recovery
Neurofeedback is non-invasive, completely safe and side- effect free therapy that shows great promise as an adjuct therapy in the treatment of stroke.
Recently neurofeedback has gotten some deserved recognition as a viable therapy for post-stroke recovery, with effects lastying years after the event in one case. A number of studies have confirmed what neurofeedback therapists have known for years- neurofeedback can bring about profound improvements in stroke recovery outcome.
It works by addressing specific areas of the brain that have been affected by the stroke. Neurofeedback training can focus on bringing the brainwaves in that area to within the normal range, helping to restore function in that area. A neurofeedback therapist will create a qEEG brain map to target the affected area and monitor the progress of the patient over the course of the treatment by qEEG re- assessment.
Because of the brain’s neuroplasticity, which is its ability to reorganize and repair itself, when we regulate brain waves through neurofeedback, neural connections within the brain are eventually repaired as well.
Diane Roberts Stoler, Ed.D., is a neuropsychologist, board-certified health psychologist, board-certified sports psychologist, and trauma therapist with over 35 years experience. In 1990, Dr. Diane had a stroke while driving her car, resulting in a 60 mph head-on auto accident. She found that neurofeedback was key in her recovery, and has subsequently used it on her patients.
“I have not only used neurofeedback personally as a treatment after suffering from my own stroke, but I have also been using it with my patients for over 20 years. It is very effective, especially when used alongside other, various treatment options. For stroke / aneurysm in particular, the combination of physical therapy or speech therapy along with neurofeedback that focuses on repairing the brain function and dysregulation produces a more effective and efficient rehabilitation of the disability, such as the ability to walk again.” -Diane Roberts Stoler, Ed.D.
Read another successful case study of Neurofeedback for Stroke Recovery: http://scottsdaleneurofeedback.com/treatments/stroke-recovery-program/stroke-case-studies/, complete with qEEG brain maps.
In another recent study using neurofeedback to enhance stroke recovery outcome, it was found that 70 % of both patients and controls achieved distinct improvements in verbal short- and long-term memory. Read the abstract here.
For more information on neurofeedback, check out our main website. If you are in the area of Fort Collins or Northern Colorado, give us a call at 970-221-1106 or stop in to schedule a qEEG brain map and your first neurofeedback session.
3– Helms J, Tacquard C, Severac F, Leonard-Lorant I, Ohana M, Delabranche X, Merdji H, Clere-Jehl R, Schenck M, Gandet FF, et al.. High risk of thrombosis in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection: a multicenter prospective cohort study.Intensive Care Med. 2020;1–10. doi: 10.1007/s00134-020-06062-x
Updated August 2020