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What is a Stroke?

A stroke or brain attack is the disruption of blood supply to the brain.

The majority of strokes are caused by a reduced blood flow to the brain and this is generally caused by arthrosclerosis. Approximately 20% of the strokes are caused by a haemorrhage. This is a bleed in the brain which is caused by hypertension or a ruptured aneurysm.

People who have sustained a stroke are usually admitted to a hospital where they receive acute treatment and rehabilitation. This rehabilitation will continue when the stroke survivor returns home. A physiotherapist, occupational therapist and a speech and language therapist a part of the rehabilitation team.

People who have sustained a stroke may have physical, cognitive or psychosocial problems. A speech-language therapist can help people who have difficulties with:

  • Swallowing
  • Finding the correct words to say
  • Concentration
  • Stringing words together into a sentence
  • Understanding other people
  • Having a conversation in a group situation
  • Memory.

It is important to remember that the help the speech language therapist provides is not a “cure”. It is a combination of training the brain to improve skills and using a variety of strategies to compensate for difficulties with certain tasks.

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