Rehabilitation: the sleeping giant of stroke medicine


  • Geoffrey A. Donnan

We have focused an entire edition of the International Journal of Stroke with guest editors Associate Professor Julie Bernhardt and Professor Steven Cramer on rehabilitation for a very good reason. For those of us who manage stroke patients on a regular basis, there are a number of obvious issues, which often arise. The first is that the acute stroke process is often only the beginning of what becomes a lifelong disability, the consequences which are entirely born by the individual and their families; second, while we are accumulating significant amounts of evidence-based knowledge about stroke prevention and acute therapy, there is still a paucity of evidence-based knowledge about recovery and rehabilitation.

Assembling this volume, Professors Bernhardt and Cramer have drawn together strands of information from the basic sciences, right through to the global World Health Organization perspective about rehabilitation generally. The burden of stroke during the rehabilitation phase and beyond in terms of life-years is enormous. The prolonged phase of disability for the patient and limited evidence pool to guide practitioners and families remain a sleeping giant of stroke medicine. We hope that this edition may fuel the great awakening.