I watched a documentary about Jill Bolte Taylor Ph. D who as a brain scientist suffered a stroke at thirty seven years of age. I was so impressed by her story and remarkable recovery that I was compelled to purchase her book ‘My Stroke of Insight – A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey’.  I found it to be an inspirational, educational and informative read.

Jill’s journey began on the 10th December 1996 when at thirty seven years of age she experienced a massive and rare form of stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. A brain scientist by profession, she was in the rare position of being able to observe her own mind completely deteriorate to the point that she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life, all within the space of four brief hours.

Of particular interest to me were the recovery chapters where Jill touches upon on the neuroplasticity of the brain.

Neuroplasticity:
 
Is the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons(nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.
 
In her book Jill uses the anagram of stroke to highlight the warning signs of a stroke thus:

S = SPEECH, or any problems with language.
T = TINGLING, or any numbness in the body.
R = REMEMBER, or any problems with memory.
O = OFF BALANCE, or problems with co-ordination.
K = KILLER HEADACHE.
E = EYES, or any problem with vision.

Here is another indicator of stroke:

S = Ask the person to SMILE.
T = Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE COHERENTLY.
R = Ask the person to RAISE BOTH ARMS

and to ask the person to stick out his/her TONGUE. If the tongue is 'crooked', that is, if it goes to one side or the other, that also is an indication of a stroke.
Here is the link to her home page:

http://drjilltaylor.com/

and here is the link to the video 'Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight':

http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

A very informative and educational book on Neuroplasticity is 'The Brain that Changes Itself' by Norman Doidge MD and here is the link to his web site:


http://www.normandoidge.com/normandoidge/MAIN.html

I subscribe to mercola.com and a recent posting related to curcumin and stroke, here is the respective link:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/03/02/common-spice-protects-and-rebuild-brain-cells-after-stroke.aspx

I found an interesting article stating that olive oil reduces risk of stroke; here is the link

http://www.consciousmindjournal.com/Articles/2011-07-01/Olive-Oil-Reduces-Risk-of-Stroke.cfm