By Jason Laporte
DHAC Exercise Physiologist
A study presented at the Canadian Stroke Congress showed that memory, language, thinking, andjudgment problems improved by 50% in stroke patients after just 6 months of exercise.
Researchers found that stroke patients with at least mild cognitive impairment dropped from 66% to 37% during a study that examined the effects of exercise on the brain.
While stroke patients may need modified programs, exercises that imitate daily living such as walking, lifting weights, and squats yielded significant improvement of attention, concentration, planning, and organizing. It should be noted that stroke patients with severe cognitive deficits have a threefold risk of mortality and are markedly more likely to be institutionalized.
In addition to seeing improvement in brain function, exercising patients also saw improvement in strength and the ability to perform the tasks of daily living.