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Gingrich advocates for brain research before New Jersey audience

Even with the amazing advances in modern medicine, a stroke remains a life-threatening incident. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimate that strokes are responsible for 1 of every 19 deaths in New Jersey and across the country. Around 87 percent of strokes involve blocked flow of blood to the brain, usually due to a blood clot. That type of stroke is known as an ischemic stroke.

New Jersey readers may also be familiar with the potentially long-term impairment that can result after a stroke. What readers may be surprised to learn, however, is that this type of medical emergency affects more than just the elderly. In fact, an estimated one-third of strokes in New Jersey and across the country involve individuals under the age of 65.

A stroke is often more than just a one-time incident. For many stroke survivors, their health problems may only be beginning, with the development of long-term disabilities becoming an increasingly common occurrence. According to a recent study of more than 20,000 survivors of ischemic stroke, approximately ten percent experienced new chronic pain symptoms. Cognitive decline may also be a side effect of a stroke.

Small wonder, then, that Newt Gingrich recently told a group of New Jersey health professionals that investment in brain research might change the landscape of medical health care. Gingrich specifically cited the example of emergency stroke interventions.

Until that technology has arrived, however, survivors of stroke who are left unable to work may need to turn to federal assistance, such as Medicare and/or Social Security disability insurance. Although many attorneys might agree that the SSDI application process is seldom easy -- or even successful on the first try -- the extra financial support can help cover the medical costs facing many stroke survivors.

Source: politickernj.com, "Nation Must Invest in Brain Research, Gingrich Tells NJ Health Professionals," Andrea Garcia, April 23, 2013

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