So, after a stroke can exercise improve brain function? With stroke a leading cause disability in Australia, identifying stroke recovery tools which can help stroke survivors is critical.
Findings from the University of Pittsburgh researchers at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017 reports If you want to improve cognitive function after stroke, exercise appears to be of significant benefit.
In a meta analysis of 13 trials which totaled 735 people the University of Pittsburgh team found tailored physical activity programs significantly improve cognitive changes among stroke patients regardless of the length the rehab program.
What excites us about this is the potential application for long term stroke survivors as we’re often asked what type of exercise should you do?
We also see the opportunity to apply the research finding for long term stroke survivors who are within the Aged Care support systems be it in the home or residential aged care settings.
We’d like to see the research to qualify cognitive performance in terms of every day tasks skills and abilities.
Evidence: Erickson, K and Oberlin L (2016) Effects of Exercise on Cognition, Brain Structure, and Brain Function in Older Adults: Linking Cognitive and Cerebral Aging Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging, pp.439-460
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