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Study examines the benefits of virtual stroke rehabilitation programs

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While virtual medical and rehabilitation appointments seemed novel when COVID-19 first appeared, they now seem to be part of the new norm and might be paving the way to the future.

A recent review paper, co-authored by Brodie Sakakibara with the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management (CCDPM) has determined that virtual appointments, in the form of telerehabilitation, also work for people recovering from a .

After a stroke, a client is provided with a therapy program to help re-gain loss of skills or motion—this can range from speech and memory, strength, balance and endurance. While not initially introduced for disease outbreaks, Sakakibara a UBCO assistant professor says research shows remote therapy can be effective during stroke recovery.

“Telerehabilitation has been promoted as a more efficient means of delivering to stroke patients while also providing care options to those unable to attend conventional therapy,” says paper co-author Sakakibara. “These services can be provided to remote locations through information and and can be accessed by patients in their homes.”

To learn how effective telerehabilitation can be, six different clinical trials—examining stroke telerehabilitation programs—were launched across Canada as part of a Heart and Stroke Foundation initiative. People recovering from a stroke were provided with interventions ranging from lifestyle coaching to memory, speech skills and physical-exercise training.

“Researchers from each of the six trials came together to write a review paper describing their experiences conducting a telerehabilitation study, and to report on the facilitators and barriers to the implementation of telerehab services within a research context,” says Sakakibara.

Going forward with telerehabilitation as a new reality, Sakakibara says the study authors determined there are important lessons learned from each of the six trials. Most notably, the efficacy and cost of telerehabilitation is similar

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Hashimoto’s Disease | NIDDK

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Hashimoto’s Disease

Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder that can cause hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. With this disease, your immune system attacks your thyroid. The thyroid becomes damaged and can’t make enough thyroid hormones.

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. Thyroid hormones control how your body uses energy, so they affect nearly every organ in your body—even the way your heart beats. Without enough thyroid hormones, many of your body’s functions slow down.

The thyroid is a small gland in your neck that makes thyroid hormones.

Does Hashimoto’s disease have another name?

Hashimoto’s disease is also called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, or autoimmune thyroiditis.

How common is Hashimoto’s disease?

Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States, and affects about 5 people out of 100.1

Who is more likely to develop Hashimoto’s disease?

Hashimoto’s disease is at least 8 times more common in women than men.2 Although the disease may occur in teens or young women, it more often appears between ages 40 and 60.2 Your chance of developing Hashimoto’s disease increases if other family members have the disease.

You are more likely to develop Hashimoto’s disease if you have other autoimmune disorders. Conditions linked to Hashimoto’s disease include