The findings were presented at a symposium of nurses at the ASA 2020 International Conference on Stroke, according to an ASA press release. Studies have shown that stroke survivors who remained highly optimistic had lower inflammation rates, less severe strokes, and reduced physical disability after three months than those who experienced less optimism.
A study of 49 stroke survivors, conducted three months after stroke, examined the relationship between optimism, physical disability, stroke severity, and inflammation.
The latter, which occurs after a stroke, damages the brain and impairs recovery. Optimism has been associated with reducing inflammation and improving health outcomes; however, there was no study that examined the association of optimism with stroke patients.
“Our results suggest that optimistic people have a better outcome of the disease, so raising morale can be an ideal way to improve mental health and recover from a stroke,” lead author Dr. Yong Joo Lai said in a statement.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The researchers said that understanding how elements of research – such as how inflammation and optimism affect or relate to each other – would provide a scientific framework for creating new methods of recovery after stroke.
“Patients and their families need to know how important a positive environment is that can benefit the patient,” Lai said. “Mental health affects recovery after stroke.”
According to the ASA, stroke is the cause of death № 5 in the US. The disease affects the arteries that lead to and inside the brain. If a stroke occurs on the left side of the brain, it can lead to memory loss and / or speech and language problems.
When the disease occurs on the right side of the brain, among the things that can occur are vision problems and a quick, inquisitive style of behavior.