After Stroke: Expected Outcomes

Prognosis depends on the type of stroke, the degree and duration of obstruction or hemorrhage, and the extent of brain tissue death. Immediate treatment can help improve prognosis in many cases. Most stroke patients experience some permanent disability that may interfere with walking, speech, vision, understanding, reasoning, or memory.

Approximately 70 percent of ischemic stroke patients are able to regain their independence and 10 percent recover almost completely. Approximately 25 percent of patients die as a result of the stroke. The location of a hemorrhagic stroke is an important factor in the outcome, and this type generally has a worse prognosis than ischemic stroke.

According to a scientific statement published by the American Heart Association (AHA) in the journal Stroke (May 2014), exercise is a valuable part of post-stroke care and recovery and can help reduce disability and improve the prognosis for many stroke patients. The AHA reports that exercise—geared to the tolerance of the patient, the stage of the patient's recovery, and other factor—is an underused part of stroke care and should be prescribed more consistently in the United States.

The American Heart Association also recommends minimizing bed rest in the days following a stroke—having patients sit or stand intermittently if possible—and using stroke rehabilitation programs that emphasize aerobic exercise, strength training, flexibility, and balance.

Updated by Remedy Health Media

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 02 Jan 2000

Last Modified: 22 May 2014