The Merz / SAFE post-stroke spasticity project launched a web site lifewithspasticity.com aimed to create an educational space for raising awareness of the treatment options available to stroke survivors experiencing post-stroke spasticity. The project is managed by the Stroke Association on behalf of Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE) and the duration of this project is 12 months, ending in the spring of 2017.
The rational for the project was that everyone who has had a stroke should have the opportunity to make the best possible recovery. It is estimated that up to a third of stroke survivors experience spasticity, however rehabilitation is only given to a small percentage of people who could benefit. Spasticity affects up to a third of stroke survivors and can leave those with the condition dependent on others to carry out the most basic, everyday tasks, such as getting dressed and eating. Studies have shown that around 70% of stroke survivors living with spasticity say it has a major impact on their life.
Spasticity is one of several clinical features/motor behaviors that may result following damage to the part of the brain or spinal cord involved in controlling voluntary movement. Collectively, these features are known as the upper motor neuron syndrome. Spasticity is associated with a pathologically increased muscle tone. This creates stiffness and resistance to passive movement. This change in muscle tone may increase the disability related to the disease at the origin of spasticity.
The main symptoms are:
- Increased muscle tone
- Overactive reflexes
Impact of spasticity on daily life
In everyday life, patients with spasticity may experience physical symptoms (e.g., pain, contractures, pressure sores), decreased functional abilities, difficulties with mobility, hygiene and care, decreased quality of life, and be prone to developing secondary conditions such as infections and psychological disorders, especially anxiety and depression.
Please find the updates on this project here.