CVA Aftershocks

Leslie E. Packer, PhD lpacker at
Thu Jan 16 20:05:48 EST 1997

<stump002 at> wrote:

>I would appreciate any and all responses.
>I am a 47 yo male who suffered a stroke last June. Physically, I have 
>completely recovered, but my memory continues to worsen. Mentally, I 
>feel more damaged now than in July. I was told that in time the brain 
>would tend towards the better, not the worse.
First and foremost, have you discussed your concerns with your
neurologist?  Have you undergone any repeat scans or tests to rule out
any ongoing or current circulatory problem (you did not indicate the
cause or type of your CVA)? 

Were any neuropsychological evaluations conducted since  your CVA that
could be used to determine if, indeed, there has been any
deterioration in functioning?  One possibility that cannot be ruled
out (yet) is that your memory is not really getting worse, but that as
other cognitive functions and insight  improve, you are becoming more
(painfully) aware of what is _not_ working -- or that as you return to
a more active life physically, your attention to your memory functions
has increased and is becoming more frustrating for you.  

Another question  (if your memory is, indeed, getting worse) is
whether you are on any medications that have cognitive side effects.  

As a rehab psychologist who works with a lot of post-CVA patients, I
would really encourage you to talk to your neurologist about your
concerns, and  if follow-up exam is negative and medication side
effects are ruled out, consider asking him/her for a referral to a
neuropsychologist who specializes in cognitive rehabilitation
following brain injury or disease who can evaluate your memory
functions and either develop a rehab/recovery program or teach you
some compensatory strategies to improve functioning.

Best of luck to you...

"The skeptic does not mean he who doubts, but he who investigates or researches, as opposed to he who asserts and thinks he has found."
 - Miguel de Unamuno y Jogo, Essays and Soliloquies 

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