ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Fractures in Older Adults Up Death Risk
CANCER
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
CAREGIVING
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
DIABETES
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Is Your Refrigerator Getting Enough Attention For Your Raw Food Success?
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Golf Course Insecticides Pose Little Danger to Players
1976 Italian Dioxin Release Damaged Babies' Thyroids
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Adapts to Age-Related Eye Disease
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
FITNESS
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Swine Flu May Have Infected More Than 100,000 Americans
Go To Work But Skip The Car
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Help Your Kids Stay Active
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Add your Article

Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients

THURSDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The inability to focus is a common problem for stroke survivors, and a new study finds they might benefit from attention-training.

New Zealand psychologists evaluated 78 stroke patients who underwent attention process training (APT) and found significant improvement on one test of attention compared to those who had standard stroke therapy, according to a report in the July 23 issue of Stroke.

But the improvement in attention was not accompanied by significant improvements in performance, and no differences were seen in three other tests of attention.

The study is "really important and exciting," said McKay Moore Sohlberg, an associate professor in the department of communication disorders and sciences at the University of Oregon. She and a colleague, Catherine A. Mateer, developed APT in the 1980s when both were at the University of Washington. Mateer, a neuropsychologist, now is at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. They designed APT for accident victims with brain injuries.

"It's an exciting paper in terms of being a rigorous, controlled trial," Sohlberg said. "There has not been a lot of information available on APT after stroke. The positive results suggest that it might be something that is helpful."

APT is a series of exercises designed to improve cognitive function. "For example, you listen for a particular stimulus, a letter or word, and perform an appropriate response," Sohlberg said. "Different exercises are matched to different problems."

The New Zealand study is "a first step to establish whether people who have strokes can profit from APT," Sohlberg said.

"What we don't know from this paper is how well the results generalize to functional tasks," she said. "Does doing better on cognitive tests translate to a better ability to hold conversations or read? That is the next step, looking at the functional effects of it."

Loss of the ability to focus attention is a major problem for people after a stroke, said Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, director of the Duke University Stroke Center in Durham, N.C. "You can be sitting in a room and something is going on in the hallway and you have no idea of what's going on out there," he said. "Or your left arm is not working well, and you might not even realize that it's your arm."

But the New Zealand study does not establish the value of APT in stroke therapy, Goldstein noted. It is a small and very preliminary study, he said. "It looks like only half the participants completed the therapy. They found some benefit, but no significant changes in quality of life or global level of deficit," Goldstein said.

Nevertheless, the results indicate that use of APT in stroke therapy "is worthy of further research," he said.

SOURCES: McKay Moore Sohlberg, Ph.D, associate professor, department of communication disorders and sciences, University of Oregon, Portland; Larry A. Goldstein, M.D, director, Duke University Stroke Center, Durham, N.C.; July 23, 2009,