How well do patients recover following ischemic stroke?
Younger patients and those with smaller strokes tend to recover better, but there is remarkable person-to-person variation.
The best predictor of how a person will recover is the initial stroke severity and the trajectory of recovery within the first weeks following the stroke. Much of the recovery occurs within the first month, and the majority of recovery is complete by 3 months.
Recovery occurs after 3 months, especially for higher cortical function such as language, but at a slower pace. In cases of motor weakness, recovery usually begins proximally and moves distally as recovery progresses.
The FLAME (Family Lifestyle, Activity, Movement and Eating) study found that fluoxetine initiated within 5 to 10 days of ischemic stroke was associated with lower rates of depression and improved motor recovery.