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Prognosis: Driving after a Stroke?

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Sat Mar 20 11:31:33 EST 1999


One month is VERY early in the recovery process.

To some extent, it appears "nonspecific" complaints of fatigue and
impaired concentration, very much like in some cases of mild traumatic
brian injury (post-concussion syndrome) may be common after stroke,
although traditionally not given so much attention as specific deficits
(aphasia, apraxia, unilateral neglect, etc.), and may persist beyond
acute recovery.

After right-hemisphere lesions, persisting perceptual problems might
make one cautious about resuming driving, especially inasmuch as
right-hemisphere lesions might also diminish awareness of having such
problems.  

With a left-hemispher lesion, such a perceptual/attentional deficit is
much less likely.

Given your father's cautious self-appraisal, I'd say let him monitor
his progress in re-achieving rapid visual processing over the next few
months, with cautious (safe terrain) gradual return to driving at a
rate that seems comfortable.  Conceivably, the complaint may persist (I
am thinking of Paula Tallal's study of the left-hemisphere's role in
resolving brief temporal intervals; her focus is auditory, but it
involves visual stimuli as well, and a recent report extends this to
somatosensory stimuli).  If so, he may yet be able to develop
compensatory strategies.

Are you near a rehab center with neuropsychologists and/or occupational
therapists competent to evaluate the e xtent of the problem and/or to
help him develop compensatory strategies?

F. Frank LeFever, Ph.D.
New York Neuropsychoology Group






In <7cvgip$nvi$1 at nnrp1.dejanews.com> Hamilton <docroc at my-dejanews.com>
writes: 
>
>My father, 71, just survived a left hemisphere intercranal hemmoraghic
stroke
>due to high blood pressure last month.	The main effect has been on
his
>speech, which has been improving nicely.  Motor skills are also ok. 
He
>doesn't feel competant to drive, however due to the following symptom:

>although his near and far vision seems fine, when he's in a car, he
has
>difficulty concentrating and focusing on road signs.  This doesn't
seem to be
>related so much to his eyes as to the way his brain processes rapid
images. 
>My question here is: has anyone experienced this type of symptom and
can
>share how long it took for this symptom to improve, if it ever did? 
Thank
>you.
>
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