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Rehabilitation after a stroke

Rehabilitation is necessary to prevent the complications secondary to immobility and to help the patient learn to overcome their disability. Rehabilitation therapy starts at about 24 hours after the stroke. About half of the survivors of a stroke have some form of paralysis, about 1/4 cannot walk and about 1/6 have difficulty speaking.
Physical therapy helps patients learn to walk or use a wheelchair. Occupational therapists work to improve motor skills. Speech therapists work to improve language and communication skills.
Prevention of a second stroke
The risk of having a second stroke after the first is about 30 per cent over the next five years. Therefore it is important to take preventive measures to avoid a second stroke. The preventive measures are:
•    To lower risk factors
•    To use an antiplatelet drug to prevent further clots from forming. Aspirin reduces the risk of having another stroke by about 20 to 25 per cent. Other antiplatelet drugs are clopidogrel and ticlopidine
•    Patients with atrial fibrillation or an irregular heartbeat, can reduce

the risk of having a second stroke by about 70 per cent by using an anticoagulant, or blood thinner, called Warfarin.

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