McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Thu, 07/18/2024 - 18:12

Gradual reopening continues on downtown campus. See Campus Public Safety website for details.

La réouverture graduelle du campus du centre-ville se poursuit. Complément d'information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention.

Rehabilitating stroke patients through movement

A stroke can significantly impact a person's ability to move. At The Neuro, Allison Jacobson, a dedicated physiotherapist on the stroke team, collaborates closely with the broader healthcare staff to rehabilitate patients, aiding them in regaining independence and mobility.

Allison assesses patients' conditions after their treatment through questioning and physical examinations. She evaluates the issues that hinder mobility and devises the most effective treatment plans to address the challenges.

What’s the big difference between the stroke unit and other units?

I have worked on the two main inpatient units: neurology and neurosurgery. In neurology, we deal with conditions like ALS, MS, and other neurological disorders. Neurosurgery involves patients with conditions like hydrocephalus, back surgeries, and brain tumors. Additionally, I work with the stroke population. Each unit has its unique challenges and patient needs.

Stroke patients are often in the acute phase, having just experienced a stroke. If they meet certain criteria, they might receive immediate interventions. In contrast, neurosurgical patients are usually pre or post-op for procedures like tumor removal. Neurology patients have a variety of conditions, some of which are still being diagnosed, so we see a wide range of symptoms and needs.

Allison and two colleagues

What are the benefits of working in an integrated allied health team?

The biggest benefit is the comprehensive care we can provide. By working with social workers, speech therapists, occupational therapists (OTs), and other specialists, we can address all aspects of a patient’s needs. This approach ensures we consider not just their physical abilities but also their ability to perform daily tasks, their cognitive function, and their social situation. It’s about seeing the whole patient, not just their immediate medical issue.

What do you love most about your work?

I love helping people and seeing their progress. Watching someone take their first steps after a stroke, or even just sit up for the first time, is incredibly rewarding. We get to see them regain independence while seeing their physical, mental and emotional improvements. Even small gains can make a big difference in their quality of life.

I also love that patients, especially neurosurgery patients who have follow-up appointments, come to visit us after their surgery. I encourage them to come upstairs and visit us. It's incredibly rewarding to see them looking healthy and walking independently when they return. Those moments make all the hard work worth it.



The Neuro logo McGill logoMcGill University Health Centre logoKillam Laureates


The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



Facebook instagram x, formerly known as twitter linkedIn youtube

Back to top