Traditionally, practitioners of stroke rehabilitation are taught that benefits of rehabilitation are achieved primarily through training patients in new techniques to compensate for impairments, and that neurological recovery is predominantly spontaneous in nature. Recent animal and human experiments have, however, indicated that the adult brain is capable of reorganisation and the term plasticity has been coined to describe this ability. Furthermore, it has been shown that cerebral reorganisation is use-dependent and can be manipulated via appropriate stimuli. This has resulted in a paradigm shift in the way stroke survivors should be rehabilitated and also given rise to several novel rehabilitation techniques.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in Singapore since 1998.1 While mortality due to stroke has steadily declined over the years with better care, stroke remains the leading cause of long-term disability in adults and the most common reason patients are referred for rehabilitation.
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