Pharmacological Therapies to Enhance Motor Recovery and Walking After Stroke

Emerging Strategies

Wieslaw Oczkowski


Expert Rev Neurother. 2013;13(8):903-909. 

In This Article

What is a Stroke?

Stroke is the most common serious neurological disorder. Stroke usually affects the brain and rarely the spinal cord. The most common cause of stroke is cerebral infarction; focal brain damage due to lack of blood flow caused by occlusion of an intracranial or extracranial artery, as a result of local atherothrombosis or clot embolism from a proximal source such as the heart. Less common stroke is due to cerebral hemorrhage – focal or more diffuse brain injury due bleeding into or around the brain caused by rupture of a blood vessel, as a result of the effects of hypertension or a vascular abnormality such as an aneurysm or ateriovenous malformation.

In 2008, around the world, stroke accounted for 5.7 million deaths and 46.6 million disability-adjusted life years. It is expected that both these numbers will significantly increase in the future and more rapidly in low and middle income countries.[2,3] In the United States, over 5 million people live with the consequences of a stroke. The total direct and indirect cost of stroke care in the United States in 2008 was estimated to be over US$65 billion.[4] The annual cost of a disabling stroke is twice as much as that of a non-disabling stroke.[5]