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How many repetitions does it take to create changes in the brain? How many repetitions must one complete before movement is strong, volitional and functional? Research indicates the number is high and the answer is more complex than we may think. Factors to be considered are, quality of repetitions, attention during repetitions, number of joints involved in movement, area of injury in the brain to name a few. It would stand to reason the more complex a movement is the more repetitions would be required.

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Attitude of Gratitude.

After experiencing a traumatic injury such as a stroke, it may be hard for many people to perceive daily things in a positive light. After all, life is not what it was before. Many stroke survivors go from an independent lifestyle to depending on a loved one. It is evident to see how there is not much room for positive thought.

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Stretching can be a very important part of recovery especially following a stroke, when feeling, sensation and movement are returning to a previously flaccid limb. However, is it possible to stretch too much or too hard? Yes it is.

Clinicians frequently see patients handle their affected limbs rather aggressively in an effort to “make it move” or “get it loose”, often stretching their fingers, wrist, elbows and shoulders too far too fast. This may partly be due to lack of sensation or awareness.

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Sleep is an extremely important component to achieve optimal brain health and function. Poor sleep has been implicated in affecting heart function, blood sugar regulation and cognitive decline. Good sleep and normal sleep-wake cycles have been linked to improved cognitive recovery following neurologic insult to the brain such as in the case of both traumatic and non-traumatic brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis and parkinson’s. Typically after a neurological insult the normal sleep-wake cycle is disrupted, with the brain injured patient sleeping throughout the night and day with intermittent periods of wakefulness.

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