WESA: PA Senate candidate pledges to debate following stroke

UC expert discusses stroke recovery

Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman suffered a stroke in May, but he has pledged that he will debate his Republican opponent Mehmet Oz when his recovery allows him to do so.

Fetterman's campaign has said that while the candidate's ability to understand and produce speech has been affected, his underlying cognition is unaffected.

Pittsburgh NPR affiliate WESA featured the University of Cincinnati's Pooja Khatri, MD, as a stroke expert. While she did not specifically address Fetterman's recovery, she said it is possible for patients to have difficulty with speech while their underlying cognition has not been affected.

“I'll have people tell me, ‘My loved one was confused because they have aphasia,’ and really, they're actually not confused at all,” said Khatri, professor of neurology and director of the vascular neurology division in the UC College of Medicine’s Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Sciences; co-director of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute Stroke Center of Excellence and the NIH StrokeNet National Coordinating Center housed at UC; as well as a UC Health physician. “They're just having trouble getting the words out that they want to say or understanding what you're saying.”

Khatri added that one of the clearest signs of how well a stroke victim will recover in the long term is how they do in the days immediately following the stroke.

Read the WESA article.

Featured photo at top of MRI brain scan. Photo/Ravenna Rutledge/University of Cincinnati.


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