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WSC 2022 | Diagnosing and managing post-stroke fatigue

Ana Catarina Fonseca, MD, PhD, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, discusses the identification and management of fatigue after stroke. Fatigue is one of the most common post-stroke complications and can range from relatively mild to severe. While reliable studies are scarce, several factors have been reported to be associated with post-stroke fatigue, including pre-stroke fatigue and pre-stroke depression. The association between stroke characteristics and post-stroke fatigue remains unclear. One of the major issues preventing progress in fatigue treatment is the lack of a standardized definition and measurement tool. A self-reported perceived lack of physical or mental energy that interferes with daily activities has been proposed as a post-stroke fatigue definition and is most commonly assessed using the fatigue severity scale (FSS). The FSS can reliably diagnose fatigue but was not developed specifically for stroke survivors and is limited by its self-reported and unidimensional nature. Additionally, there are no evidence-based interventions to prevent or treat post-stroke fatigue. New intervention trials with adequate sample sizes are greatly needed. This interview took place at the World Stroke Congress 2022 in Singapore.

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