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By Kayla McKiski
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, February 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Optimism could be a powerful medicine when recovering from a stroke, a new study suggests.

The researchers found that stroke survivors who had a positive outlook showed lower levels of inflammation, reduced severity and fewer physical disabilities after three months compared to survivors of more pessimistic strokes.

"Our results suggest that optimistic people have a better outcome of the disease, therefore, increasing morale can be an ideal way to improve mental health and recovery after a stroke," said the first author of the study, Yun-Ju Lai, in a news of the American Heart Association (AHA) launch.

The research was funded by the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. UU. And the AHA. Lai is a postdoctoral fellow in the neurology department of the Center for Health Sciences at the University of Texas at Houston.

A study of 49 stroke survivors participated in the study. The researchers analyzed the connections between optimism, inflammation, the severity of stroke and physical disability. They found that as optimism increased, levels of inflammatory markers such as interlukin-6 and C-reactive protein decreased.

Gaining a better understanding of the relationship between these elements could help develop new strategies for stroke recovery, said Lai and his colleagues.

They explained that experiencing inflammation after a stroke can damage the brain and make recovery difficult.

The lower levels of inflammation associated with optimism translated into better outcomes for patients, although the study did not demonstrate a cause and effect link. Optimism levels were determined by a standard psychological test to measure optimism.

The findings will be presented next week at the International Stroke Association Conference of the American Stroke Association in Los Angeles. Such research is considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

"Patients and their families should know the importance of a positive environment that can benefit the patient," Lai said. "Mental health affects recovery after a stroke."

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SOURCE: American Heart Association, press release, February 12, 2020

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