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Stroke: Many episodes are invisible
Every year, more than a quarter of a million Germans suffer a stroke. The so-called brain infarction is one of the most common causes of death in Germany. It is also the most common cause of disabilities in adulthood. What many do not know is that a stroke often leaves invisible consequences.
Most common cause of permanent disabilities
According to health experts, around 270,000 German citizens suffer a stroke every year. This is one of the most common causes of death in Germany. In addition, the so-called brain infarction is the most common cause of permanent disabilities in adulthood. What few people know: Even more often, the stroke leaves invisible consequential damage. The German Stroke Aid Foundation points this out in a communication.
Nationwide campaign day
A limping gait or a paralyzed hand - these are the characteristics that many people associate with a stroke.
But hardly anyone knows that around 80 percent of patients suffer from the invisible consequences of this disease.
That is why the German Stroke Aid Foundation is staging the nationwide “Day against the Stroke” on May 10 under the motto “I feel something that you don't see…”
[GList slug = ”5-signs-on-stroke”]
Brain needs rest breaks
The experts refer to patient stories that are known in one way or another in every neurological rehabilitation clinic:
A younger person suffers a stroke, survives it almost unscathed on the outside and returns to the workplace.
But a few weeks later, the patient collapses and has to go to rehab. Many affected people only realize in everyday life that they are no longer up to the demands of their previous lives.
"The brain needs an extremely large number of rest periods in the first 18 to 36 months after the stroke," explains Dr. Caroline Kuhn, head of the neuropsychological teaching and research outpatient clinic at Saarland University.
Patients are often overwhelmed with simple tasks
According to the experts, attention and concentration deficits, often associated with gaps in memory and planning disorders, are among the most common neuropsychological functional disorders after a stroke.
Patients are often overwhelmed with the organization of their shopping.
Speech or visual disturbances also often occur. In addition, there are often emotional changes that put a strain on the relationship with partners and relatives.
Lack of outpatient care
Stroke help advises sufferers to get professional help. Outside of neurological rehabilitation clinics, resident neuropsychologists are the first address.
However, the outpatient care situation is bad, patients often have to wait months for an appointment. There are simply too few such therapists.
Dr. Thomas Guthke, first chairman of the Society for Neuropsychology, speaks of an "extreme deficit in the range of neuropsychological services that is particularly evident in the outpatient area."
The specialist society has overruled that there is a nationwide need for at least 1,000 outpatient neuropsychologists. There are currently only around 200 in Germany.
According to the experts, there are two main reasons for this: Neuropsychologists have special, extensive further training, which they have also been entitled to bill outpatient treatments with health insurance companies for a number of years.
The training is very lengthy, which discourages many interested parties. In addition, the approval procedures in some regions are very lengthy.
Be particularly sensitive to those affected
It can take years for the situation to relax. Dr. Caroline Kuhn, who advises the German Stroke Aid Foundation, recommends that patients who do not get an appointment first contact an occupational therapist.
"When choosing the practice, you should make sure that the therapists specialize in neurological diseases," says the neuropsychologist, who is the author of a guide for patients and relatives.
Family, friends and work colleagues should be particularly sensitive to those affected, especially in the first period after the stroke.
Kuhn advises patients “to communicate openly that my stress limits are reduced. Then my environment can handle it better. That is no reason to be ashamed ”. (ad)