Researchers at the Canadian Stroke Congress in Ottawa, Canada, report in a new study patients who suffer a “mild” stroke, meaning they had no loss of speech or mobility, do not receive sufficient management and follow-up treatment.

Annie Rochette, PhD, University of Montreal, co-authored the study. She and her research team interviewed 200 mild stroke victims in Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta, Canada, who were on average aged 62 years, 6 weeks following their first stroke. The study reports that many of the patients were clinically depressed, experiencing fatigue, and disturbed sleep. 

Rochette says, “There is no such thing as a mild stroke…these patients face huge challenges in their daily lives.”

The data gathered by the researchers also suggested that generally, 25% of mild stroke patients are treated in the emergency room only. Occupational therapists, neurophysiologists, or speech therapists typically do not see these patients, according to researchers. 

“Patients are told to see their doctor, but are given no other tools for rehabilitation,” Rochette says.

The study’s authors suggest that new treatment guidelines promoting greater access to rehabilitation services will ensure the care and recovery of mild stroke victims.

Individuals who have suffered a mild stroke are five times more likely to have another stroke within the next 2 years than the general population, says Michael Hill, PhD, spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Taking this statistic into account, the study’s authors advocate management and treatment plans for mild stroke victims, which would address current concerns and monitor potential risk factors for vascular disease.

Source: Canadian Stroke Congress