Education & Resources

We have compiled different resources such as stroke and brain health patient educational materials, information on local resources for stroke survivors and caregivers and helpful links that Houstonians may find helpful!
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Education Library

Learn about stroke prevention, treatment and recovery, healthy brain behaviors and tips to keep brain smart. See our library of educational materials and links to educational resources.

Local Resources

Do you know what resources are available in Houston for stroke survivors and caregivers? See our listing of available resources.


Stroke Research

Do you know what is involved in clinical research? Do you want to know about ongoing stroke related research? Interested in participating in research. Get the answers to these questions and more.

Education Library

Do You Know Stroke Basics?

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a brain attack. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, that area of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, causing brain cells to die.

Thus, recovery from stroke and the specific ability affected depends on the size and location of the stroke. For example, a small stroke may result in problems such as weakness in an arm or leg. A larger stroke may cause paralysis (inability to move part of the body), loss of speech, or even death.

What are the two types of stroke:

Ischemic and Hemorrhagic

  • Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel is blocked. This is the most common type of stroke (~ 87% of all strokes).
  • Hemorrhagic stroke (brain bleed) occurs when a blood vessels bursts, spilling blood into surrounding tissues. This type of stroke is less common (~ 13% of all strokes).
What are the most common stroke symptoms?
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
What happens to the brain when a stroke occurs?


The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to function. Even a brief interruption in blood supply can cause problems. Brain cells begin to die after just a few minutes without blood or oxygen. The area of dead cells in tissues is called a stroke (or infarct). When cells die, chemicals are released that can cause even more cells to die.

The earlier a stroke patient gets to the emergency department, the better the chance they will be able to receive treatment that stops or reduces the amount of brain damage from the stroke.

When brain cells die, functions that were under control of those brain cells are lost. This may include impaired language, speech, movement, thinking and memory, bowel and bladder, eating, emotional control, and other vital body functions. Specific abilities lost or affected depend on where in the brain the stroke occurs and on the size of the stroke.

Other important but less common stroke symptoms
  • Sudden nausea and vomiting
  • Brief loss of consciousness or period of decreased consciousness (fainting, confusion, convulsions or coma)


Use FAST to remember the warning signs!


F – Face; ask the person to smile. Does one side droop?

A – Arms; ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S – Speech; ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is there speech slurred or strange?

T – Time; If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately!

Call 911 if you see or have any of these symptoms!

Test Your Stroke Knowledge

Find out how much you know about strokes and what causes them with an online quiz from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Stroke Quiz


Local Resources

Below is a list of websites to learn about stroke, stroke survivorship and recovery.

Houston Aphasia Recovery Center

HARC offers multiple programs for participants with aphasia, their caregivers, families and volunteers. Wellness programs help stroke survivors build language skills and provide practice for understanding and being understood in a safe, fun environment.

Strowmatt Rehabilitation Services

Is your physician requiring a driver evaluation before you can return to driving? When a stroke occurs, it can affect skills necessary for independent driving with limitations in vision, perception, reaction time or functional ability. Many stroke survivors can return to independent driving but require adaptive equipment and training. If you, your caregiver or a physician has concerns over your ability to drive post-stroke, contact Strowmatt Rehabilitation Services for specialized services to aid in your road to recovery.

The Jung Center Mind Body Spirit Institute

The Jung Center’s Mind Body Spirit Institute helps individuals and communities to flourish with innovative new approaches to cultivating wellness and emotional health. From insightful workshops to long-term, in depth certificate programs, Mind Body Spirit Institute offers solutions to those looking to refresh their approach to life, embrace their own potential, and experience greater meaning and satisfaction in their work.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC offers valuable educational information on health-related topics, including stroke. For information on stroke risk and prevention, survivor stories, statistics and other resources, visit their website.

American Heart Association / American Stroke Association

In collaboration with the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association’s website provides valuable tips for life after stroke, such as choosing the right rehab facility for the patient’s needs. The website provides subscriber information for the award-winning Stroke Connection magazine, which is published quarterly and filled with information for stroke survivors and their families. Find educational publications, a monthly eNewsletter, downloadable fact sheets and multimedia resources.

The Internet Stroke Center

This website provides patients, their families, and caregivers with valuable resources about how to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and understand how strokes are diagnosed and treated. Caregivers will find helpful information that will ease the transition from hospital to home and guide both patient and caregiver through the recovery process.

The Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke

WHO and the CDC created this Atlas to address the global epidemics of heart disease and stroke. Each of the six sections is written in easy-to-understand, concise language, and includes images to help readers visualize the information. Topics include treatment, health education, and ways to reduce the risk of future strokes.


Stroke Research

Are you interested in participating in a research study? To access a list of ongoing clinical trials near you, visit https://clinicaltrials.gov/For more information, view this video on understanding clinical trials. For instructions on how to search for a research study that may be of interest to you, visit ClinicalTrials.gov.

Clinical trials at UTHealth

PISCES III is a clinical research study that is evaluating if a study drug, made from stem cells, will help improve function in those who recently suffered an ischemic stroke. You or a loved one may qualify if you are 35-75 years old, had your stroke within the past 23 months, and have limited movement in the arms/legs.

For more information on the trial and eligibility, please contact Dr. Sean Savitz, Director, UTHealth Institute for Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease at 713-500-7085 or Dorothea.M.Parker@uth.tmc.edu.

Aphasia

Take the National Aphasia Association's Aphasia Facts Quiz

Alzheimer's Disease

Understanding Alzheimer's Disease booklet

Download Understanding Alzheimer's Disease From the National Institute on Aging

Alzheimer's Disease Fact Sheet

Download Alzheimer's Disease Fact Sheet From the National Institute on Aging and the National Institutes of Health

Brain Basics

Brain Facts Book

Download Brain Facts Book A companion publication to brainfacts.org

Know Your Brain Basics Book

Download Know Your Brain Basics Published by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

The Life and Death of a Neuron

Download The Life and Death of a Neuron From the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Concussion

Falls

STEADI Fact Sheet

Download STEADI Fact Sheet Published by the CDC

STEADI Falls Stats

Download STEADI Falls Stats Published by the CDC

Stay Independent - Fall Prevention pamphlet

Download Stay Independent Published by the CDC

CDC STEADI
www.cdc.gov/steadi/index.html

Forgetfulness/Memory Loss

Forgetfulness: Knowing When to Ask for Help booklet

Download Forgetfulness: Knowing When to Ask for Help Published by the National Institute on Aging

Understanding Memory Loss booklet

Download Understanding Memory Loss Published by the National Institute on Aging

National Institute of Health/National Institute on Aging - Cognitive Health
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/featured/memory-cognitive-health

Healthy Brain Aging

Successful aging and your brain booklet download

Download Successful Aging Booklet Published by the Dana Foundation

Staying Sharp booklet

Download Staying Sharp Published by the Dana Foundation

Healthy Brain Aging Bookmark

Download Healthy Brain Aging Bookmark Published by the Dana Foundation

The Dana Foundation
www.dana.org/about/

High Blood Pressure

Download What is High Blood Pressure Published by the American Heart Association

Download Consequences of High Blood Pressure Published by the American Heart Association

Download Blood Pressure Log Published by the American Heart Association

Download Blood Pressure Categories Published by the American Heart Association

Nutrition

Download Tipsheet: Choose MyPlate Published by MyPlate

Download Tipsheet: Vegetables Published by MyPlate

Download Tipsheet: Fruits Published by MyPlate

Download Tipsheet: Whole Grains Published by MyPlate

Download Tipsheet: Protein Published by MyPlate

Download Tipsheet:Salt and Sodium Published by MyPlate

MyPlate
www.choosemyplate.gov/

Stress

Download Stress Facts Published by the National Institute of Mental Health

Download AHA How Can I Manage My Stress Published by the American Heart Association

American Heart Association: About Stroke
www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke

Stroke Prevention

Download Explaining Stroke Brochure Published by the American Stroke Association

Understanding stroke risk

Download Understanding Stroke Risk Published by the American Stroke Association

5 Things Every Stroke Hero Should Know

Download 5 Things Every Stroke Hero Should Know Published by the American Stroke Association

Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Stroke

Download Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Stroke Published by the American Stroke Association

Stroke Caregivers & Families

Download Caregiver Guide to Stroke

Download Caregiver Guide to Stroke Published by the American Stroke Association

American Heart Association: About Stroke
www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke

Stroke Recovery

Post Stroke Rehab

Download Post Stroke Rehabilitation Published by the US Department of Health and Human Services

Stroke Hope Research

Download Stroke Hope Research Published by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

American Heart Association: About Stroke
www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke