The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    “Hip-Hop” Stroke

    Teaching children to recognize stroke.

    First the details.

    • “Hip-Hop” Stroke is an educaional program that uses music and dance to help children learn the FAST mnemonic (Facial droop, Arm weakness, Speech disturbance, Time to call 911).
    • The program occurred in central Harlem, New York City, a community with high stroke risk.
    • 582 fourth, fifth, and sixth graders (9 to 11 years old) participated in 1-hour sessions over 3 consecutive days.

    And, the results among the “Hip-Hop” students

    • Knowledge of stroke localization: 20% correct before vs 93% correct immediately after the program, and 86% correct 3 months later — significant improvement.
    • The term “brain attack: 16% before, 95% immediate after the program, 86% 3 months later — significant improvement
    • Call 911 for stroke: 78% before, 100% immediate after the program, 98% 3 months later — significant improvement.
    • FAST stroke symptoms (facial droop and slurred speech) were significantly better retained than non-FAST symptoms (headache and blurred vision) at 3 months.
    • For stroke prevention measures, dietary change and exercise were better learned than concepts of diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “Elementary school children are educable about stroke, retain their knowledge well, and may be able to appropriately activate emergency services for acute stroke. Incorporating cultural elements such as hip-hop music may improve retention of stroke knowledge among the youth.”

    7/19/08 21:59 JR

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