Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Non-intense physical activity to reduce depression and boost recovery of stroke patients

07.06.2010
You don't always need to build up a big sweat to reap the healing benefits of physical activity. Research has found that even a low-intense exercise program can reduce depression symptoms and boost physical therapy results in recovering stroke patients.

"The power of physical activity to raise the spirits of recovering stroke patients is stronger than anyone suspected," Heart and Stroke Foundation researcher Dr. Jocelyn Harris told Canadian Stroke Congress, co-hosted by the Canadian Stroke Network, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the Canadian Stroke Consortium.

She says that many stroke survivors experience feelings of depression in the weeks and months following stroke, which can interfere with the recovery process. This may be due in part to the fact that depression can cause a lack of motivation, increased fatigue, and trouble concentrating.

Intense physical activity has a positive effect on reducing depression for most stroke patients. But some stroke patients undergoing medical treatments have special challenges and can't reach high activity levels, she says.

"Many stroke patients could never reach aerobic levels high enough to alleviate depressive symptoms," says Dr. Harris, who works at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.

Without that fitness boost, depression can become a perpetual, unwelcome guest for stroke patients and their caregivers.

This new study shows there is no reason for these patients to miss out on the benefits of physical activity.

The study followed 103 recovering stroke patients who were all receiving regular, standard treatment in hospital.

Fifty-three – just over half − of the patients were enrolled in an additional, experimental program for upper limb recovery called Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program (GRASP). The remaining 50 patients carried on with regular treatments.

Patients in the GRASP group spent an extra 35 minutes four times a week doing non-intense arm exercises as part of rehabilitation activities, such as pouring water in a glass, buttoning up a shirt, or playing speed and accuracy games.

Depressive symptoms were measured by the Center for Epidemiology Depression Rating Scale (CES-D), which measures symptoms of depression.

The GRASP treatment program improved stroke-affected arm and hand function by 33 per cent as well as improving the amount that the patient used their arm and hands. "At four weeks, the GRASP patients also reported less depressive symptoms and greater change scores than those in the control group did," says Dr. Harris. "The GRASP patients all did better − much better." The effects lasted up to five months.

"Depression and depressive symptoms in the weeks following a stroke are very common. Depression may be a direct result of the damage to a region of brain and in addition, the sudden change in ability and life circumstances," says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Michael Hill. "It's important to know that depression is treatable. Patients and caregivers should mention depressive symptoms and seek treatment during follow-up visits with their neurologist, internist, or family physician."

Nobody knows for sure how many patients show depressive symptoms after stroke, says Dr. Harris. "In the literature, the rate ranges between 23 and 72 per cent. That is a huge difference."

These numbers point to the importance of planning for the needs of the baby boom generation who are currently poised to enter the high stroke risk stage, says Dr. Hill.

Dr. Harris wants to take the GRASP program out of the hospital and into the community.

"We need to create more meaning and purpose in the lives of stroke survivors," says Canadian Stroke Network spokesperson Dr. Antoine Hakim. "Whether it is gardening, enjoying the grandchildren, or going for a walk in a beautiful park, there are many focuses that can raise mood, alleviate depression, and improve recovery in stroke survivors."

Statements and conclusions of study authors are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Foundation or CSN policy or position. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Stroke Network make no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.

The Canadian Stroke Network (canadianstrokenetwork.ca) includes more than 100 of Canada's leading scientists and clinicians from 24 universities who work collaboratively on various aspects of stroke. The network, which is headquartered at the University of Ottawa, also includes partners from industry, the non-profit sector, provincial and federal governments. The Canadian Stroke Network, one of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence, is committed to reducing the physical, social and economic impact of stroke on the lives of individual Canadians and on society as a whole.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca), a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy.

For more information and/or interviews, contact The CSC 2010 MEDIA OFFICE (JUNE 7 and 8) at 418-649-5232

OR contact Hémisphère Relations Publiques
Marie-José Bégin
514-994-0802
mj_begin@videotron.ca
France Gaignard
514-616-7705
Congress information and media registration is at www.strokecongress.ca
After June 8, 2010, contact:
Jane-Diane Fraser
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
(613) 569-4361 ext 273, jfraser@hsf.ca

Jane-Diane Fraser | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hsf.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Research offers clues for improved influenza vaccine design
09.04.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Injecting gene cocktail into mouse pancreas leads to humanlike tumors
06.04.2018 | University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Diamond-like carbon is formed differently to what was believed -- machine learning enables development of new model

19.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Electromagnetic wizardry: Wireless power transfer enhanced by backward signal

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Ultrafast electron oscillation and dephasing monitored by attosecond light source

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>