Working before, after stroke found to benefit brain health and recovery

A study presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018 found that adults who worked before and after a stroke had a reduced risk of depression and death.

  • The investigators studied the brain health of 252 adult stroke survivors from the Tel Aviv Brain Acute Stroke Cohort (TABASCO) study.
  • Part of their research entailed the analysis of brain health and any cognitive changes shortly after the stroke, at the one-year mark, and two years after.
  • They discovered that participants who were unemployed prior to having a stroke demonstrated lower cognitive results, and were at greater risk of neurological deficits and inflammation. In addition, they had a higher chance of developing type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated inflammation, and were more prone to suffer from depression.
  • Physical changes were observed in their brains as well. Specifically, imaging studies revealed diminished white matter volume and cortical thickness.
  • Compared to those who were employed before having a stroke, those without employment were three times or 320 percent more likely to suffer from cognitive decline two years after the stroke.
  • Over the course of the study, 8.9 percent of the participants underwent cognitive decline, while 4.4 percent died.
  • The researchers also found that working again after a stroke can minimize the risk of cognitive decline.
  • One major limitation was that only mild stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) survivors were used in the study.
  • The researchers concluded that stroke survivors needed to continue working for the sake of their health.

American Heart Association. “WORKING BEFORE AND AFTER STROKE IS GOOD FOR BRAIN HEALTH.”ScienceDaily. 25 Jan 2018. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180125230401.htm

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