The consequences of stroke are significant. Ischemic stroke occurs when brain cells die because of inadequate blood flow. Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by the rupture of a blood vessel into or around the brain. Disabilities include paresis/paralysis, sensory disturbances including loss special sense, parasthesias, neuropathic pain syndromes, aphasia, cognitive impairment, emotional disturbances, and the psychological impact of these changes. In addition, the family and friends of a stroke “victim” experience their own “hurt” when a loved one suffers a Cerebrovascular Accident. A subtle but massively important issue is personality change after otherwise “minor” stroke.
In the past, treatment generally was limited to rehabilitation interventions, and pain control, and counseling. More recently, nervous system stimulation (of the brain, spinal cord, or peripheral nerves) has been possible – it relies upon remaining nervous tissue and “circuitry” to restore function.
Other approaches include reduction of the inevitable neuroinflammation with perispinal etanercept injections or HBOT, and most recently the hope of regeneration of dead nervous tissue with stem cell therapy.