News roundup: October 2022

green typewriter with the word "news" written on the paper

Each month, we publish a collection of stroke news stories. These can be the stories of stroke survivors, fundraising superstars or new medical research.

Survivor stories

Last month new research was published that said 95% of stroke survivors said that their stroke had had an impact on their mental health.  

The Stroke Association has called for emotional and psychological care to be more of a priority in stroke recovery.  

Two stroke survivors shared their personal experiences of struggling with the emotional aspects of stroke.  

Adrian in Northern Ireland 

An article in Belfast Live featured Adrian from Carrickfergus, who said: 

“I was never offered emotional support and may not have taken it but I definitely needed it. Looking back, I can see that I needed it. I would look on My Stroke Guide and online forums for advice at how to deal with my emotions and take solace that many felt as I did. Personally, I felt like I shouldn’t be a burden and just had to get on with it but if support was given it would have helped me tremendously.” 

Adrian, stroke survivor

Only 30-50% of stroke survivors in Northern Ireland receive this kind of care. That's according to a recent paper by Association of Clinical Psychologists (ACPUK). 

Paula in Scotland 

Low levels of psychological support were also found in Scotland. Of those surveyed, 73% said that they didn't receive the support they needed in hospital. The majority (68%) also said they didn't get the support they needed in the community. 

Paula from Glasgow talked about feelings of anxiety after her stroke:  

“I can only describe it as overwhelming and felt completely lost and alone trying to unpick what was going on, asking myself whether it was my fault... Fortunately, the nursing staff on the ward identified my low mood and anxiety early on and helped me to understand and process the changes I was facing.” 

Paula, stroke survivor

You can read more about her story in The Aberdeen Press and Journal (story has been taken down). 

If you feel that your psychological or emotional needs are not being met, please reach out to someone. This could be your GP, our Helpline or other stroke survivors. You might connect with people in a local stroke group, via our Here For You service or on the forum. 

Famous faces

The Instagram and YouTube star Chiara Beer had a stroke at age two. This left her with weakness along the whole right side of her body.  

She is best known for sharing videos of her one-handed life hacks. So it might surprise people to learn that she was originally afraid to even show her right arm on camera.  

In an article for BBC News, Chiara tells how she was afraid to post in case she received negative comments about her arm. But she needn't have worried. People were asking questions and encouraging her to make more videos. 

Medical news: what does the future hold?

Read all about what the future holds for stroke treatment in this article on Stroke Rehab Times. In the article our Head of Research, Richard Francis, shares some of the projects funded by the Stroke Association. These include: 

  • Using machine learning to improve the lab research that informs clinical trials. Making lab research the best it can be will also help improve these clinical trials.  
  • A new virtual ‘shopping trip’ test may help to identify how memory and concentration problems will impact on activities of daily living – while a stroke survivor is still recovering in hospital.  
  • Using artificial intelligence to predict the recovery of communication skills. This research may make it easier to predict which aphasia treatments are likely to work for each person.   

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