Loss of muscle and excess body weight could be associated with risk of disability after a stroke, suggested a latest study. “Body wasting in the course of a disease called cachexia is observed in cancer and chronic diseases like heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease,” says Nadja Scherbakov, lead author of the study.
“Stroke is the main cause of adult disability. It is a common understanding that this is all due to brain injury and impaired innervation. Our findings show that the amount of skeletal muscle throughout the body declines after stroke,” adds Scherbakov.
“This opens the door for treatment options such as dietary supplementation and exercise training to prevent muscle wasting after stroke,” adds Scherbakov. The study has been published in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle.
For the study, the team examined the changes in body weight and composition during the year after an ischaemic stroke and their association with disability. The findings revealed that 21 percent of patients had developed cachexia one year later, which meant they had lost at least 5 percent of their body weight. The loss of 19 percent of their body fat and 6.5 percent of their muscle mass was also noted by the researchers. It must be noted that this body wasting occurred equally in patients with and without limb paresis.
Patients with cachexia had a significantly lower functional capacity and significantly lower handgrip strength than those without cachexia. “The disability caused by stroke is usually attributed to brain damage, with little attention paid to the effector organ, which is the skeletal muscle. Exercise training is the most promising way to delay or prevent the progression of muscle wasting and may be a therapy option,” says Scherbakov.
“Treatment of cachexia includes dietary supplementation with protein, vitamins and minerals, and might also prevent muscle wasting after stroke,” Scherbakov further explains.
The researchers said that the older patients with moderately severe stroke were particularly more likely to develop cachexia after a stroke. Necessary steps must be taken to monitor their body weight, appetite and nutritional needs.
11 Protein-Rich Foods
Protein is often called the ‘building block of life.’ They play a crucial role in gaining muscle. This is why people who work out often or are athletes usually supplement their diet with protein to make up for the wear and tear that has taken place after an intense session. Proteins are also helpful in managing sustainable weight loss. It helps keep you full for a longer spell of time that ensures you do not overeat.
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