Nav: Home

Stroke affects more than just the physical

March 28, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS - A new study looks at what problems affect people most after a stroke and it provides a broader picture than what some may usually expect to see. Stroke affects more than just physical functioning, according to a study is published the March 28, 2018, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"After a stroke, people who have only mild disability can often have 'hidden' problems that can really affect their quality of life," said study author Irene L. Katzan, MD, MS, of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "And for people with more disability, what bothers them the most? Problems with sleep? Depression? Fatigue? Not many studies have asked people how they feel about these problems, and we doctors have often focused just on physical disability or whether they have another stroke."

The study involved 1,195 people who had an ischemic stroke, or a stroke where blood flow to part of the brain is blocked. They were asked questions about their physical functioning, fatigue, anxiety, sleep problems, thinking skills such as planning and organizing, how much their pain affects other aspects of their life and their satisfaction with their current social roles and activities.

Participants took the questionnaires an average of 100 days after their stroke, and about a quarter of the participants needed help from a family member to fill out the questionnaires. Researchers also measured their level of disability.

The people with stroke had scores that were considerably worse than those in the general population in every area except sleep and depression. Not surprisingly, the area where the people with stroke were most affected was physical functioning, where 63 percent had scores considered meaningfully worse than those of the general population, with an average score of 59, where a score of 50 is considered the population average.

On the question about whether they were satisfied with their social roles and activities, 58 percent of people with stroke had scores meaningfully worse than those of the general population.

"People may benefit from social support programs and previous studies have shown a benefit from efforts to improve the social participation of people with stroke, especially exercise programs," said Katzan.

The thinking skills of people with stroke in executive function, or planning and organizing, were also affected, with 46 percent having scores that were meaningfully worse than the population average.

"The social participation and executive functioning skills are areas that have not received a lot of attention in stroke rehabilitation," Katzan said. "We need to better understand how these areas affect people's well-being and determine strategies to help optimize their functioning."

Limitations of the study include that the questionnaires did not ask about other problems that can occur after stroke, such as communication issues. Also, the study participants had milder strokes on average than people with stroke overall and the average age of participants was 62, which is lower than the average age of 69 for people with stroke overall.
-end-
To learn more about stroke, visit http://www.aan.com/patients.

The American Academy of Neurology is the world's largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with over 34,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube.

American Academy of Neurology

Related Stroke Articles:

How to help patients recover after a stroke
The existing approach to brain stimulation for rehabilitation after a stroke does not take into account the diversity of lesions and the individual characteristics of patients' brains.
Kids with headache after stroke might be at risk for another stroke
A new study has found a high incidence of headaches in pediatric stroke survivors and identified a possible association between post-stroke headache and stroke recurrence.
High stroke impact in low- and middle-income countries examined at 11th World Stroke Congress
Less wealthy countries struggle to meet greater need with far fewer resources.
Marijuana use might lead to higher risk of stroke, World Stroke Congress to be told
A five-year study of hospital statistics from the United States shows that the incidence of stroke has risen steadily among marijuana users even though the overall rate of stroke remained constant over the same period.
We need to talk about sexuality after stroke
Stroke survivors and their partners are not adequately supported to deal with changes to their relationships, self-identity, gender roles and intimacy following stroke, according to new research from the University of Sydney.
Standardized stroke protocol can ensure ELVO stroke patients are treated within 60 minutes
A new study shows that developing a standardized stroke protocol of having neurointerventional teams meet suspected emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) stroke patients upon their arrival at the hospital achieves a median door-to-recanalization time of less than 60 minutes.
Stroke affects more than just the physical
A new study looks at what problems affect people most after a stroke and it provides a broader picture than what some may usually expect to see.
Stroke journal features women's studies on how gender influences stroke risk, treatment and outcomes
Many aspects of strokes affect women and men differently, and four articles in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke highlight recent research and identify future research needs.
Too few with stroke of the eye are treated to reduce future stroke
Only one-third of 5,600 patients with retinal infarction, or stroke in the eye, underwent basic stroke work-up, and fewer than one in 10 were seen by a neurologist.
Juvenile stroke: Causes often not known
Strokes without a definitive identifiable cause account for up to 50 percent of juvenile strokes.
More Stroke News and Stroke Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.