Stroke is a leading cause of disability. Some people recover well after a stroke, and some do not. As a result, it’s crucial to understand the things that affect how well people bounce back after a stroke. Yet, until now, surprisingly little research has been done on the link between stroke recovery and certain types of stress.
A study published in the journal Stroke in November 2023 sheds new light on this subject. It looked at two specific kinds of stress:
- Lifetime stress: Very stressful or traumatic events that people experienced in the past
- Poststroke acute stress: The sudden stress that people experience immediately after being diagnosed with a new stroke
“We found that higher lifetime stress predicted more poststroke acute stress. And this acute stress was a major player in stroke outcomes, even a year later,” says Steven Cramer, MD, a UCLA stroke neurologist and coauthor of the study.
Dr. Cramer is a nationally recognized expert on recovery after stroke. He was the recipient of the 2023 Outstanding Neurorehabilitation Clinician-Scientist Award from the American Society of Neurorehabilitation.