Increasing incidence of stroke in Kerala, which is now almost on par with developed countries, calls for immediate establishment of rehabilitation centres for the cerebrovascular disease, said an expert.
Developed countries have a system where stroke patients are sent straight from hospital to rehabilitation centres.
"Such an intervention, especially in the first month after the stroke, is very important for the recovery of the patient," said Canada-based stroke neurologist Andrew Demchuk, who is in the city to attend the 9th National Conference of Indian Stroke Association (ISACON 2014) that began here Friday.
Stroke rehabilitation centres typically provides the patient comprehensive rehabilitation including occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech therapy under one roof, pointed out the expert neurologist.
The three-day ISACON 2014, organised by the Kerala Association of Neurologists, focuses on prevention of stroke, advances in its medicine and rehabilitation of stroke survivors.
P.N. Sylaja at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) here, said SCTIMST is making an effort to train primary care-givers in rehabilitation of patients.
"But apart from this care-giver based rehabilitation programme, we definitely need more rehabilitation centres and more stroke units in the state," said Sylaja.
"Time is a major factor. The brain gets damaged in about four and a half hours after the brain attack. So we need to start the treatment within this golden window period," said V.G. Pradeep Kumar of Baby Memorial Hospital, Kozhikode.
Over 450 delegates are attending the conference which ends on Sunday.