How can a person who suffered serious stroke survive? A new research revealed that survivors of serious stroke could reduce their chances of dying within the year by 76 per cent if they complete a modified cardiac rehabilitation program. This includes medically supervised exercise, prescribed therapy, and physician follow-up.
The study published in the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases is the latest from the ongoing Stroke-HEART Trials at Hackensack Meridian JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, located in Edison, NJ, USA. Co-Principal Investigator of the study Sara J. Cuccurullo said that people who had a stroke are not allowed to get up as there are chances of falling. “But we are showing that even survivors of serious stroke can exercise safely in a supervised program — and they can benefit enormously,” the researcher said. Sara J. Cuccurullo is also MD, Chairman and Medical Director of JFK Johnson.
The JFK Johnson Stroke Recovery Program (SRP) provides 36 sessions of medically monitored interval cardiovascular training. They also hold follow-up visits with a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician along with psychological, nutritional, and educational support and risk factor (such as smoking, diet, and exercise) management. The study found that stroke patients, even those who may experience hemiplegia, can exercise safely with some modifications, such as the use of recumbent bicycles.
The study included more than 1,600 stroke survivors. As to survivor to the next, the study created a subgroup of patients closely matched for gender, race, type of stroke, age, medical complexity and functional scores. In the subgroup 26 completed the program. Among the patients, four died within a year of their stroke. Among the non-participants, 14 participants died. This translates into a four-fold reduction in one year all-cause mortality,
The y also found the Stroke Recovery Program participants improved in other ways. The participants had a 78 per cent increase in their cardiovascular capacity. They showed steady improvement in scores related to mobility, self-care, and communication cognition.