Developments in treating the nonmotor symptoms of stroke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Stroke is among the most common causes of disability worldwide. Nonmotor symptoms of stroke are common and disabling. Many are treatable, and intervention improves the quality of life for stroke survivors. Areas covered: Here the author summarizes the evidence-based treatment of depression and other mood disorders, aphasia, hemispatial neglect, impairments of emotional communication and empathy, deficits in memory and other cognitive functions, sleep disorders, pain, fatigue, and seizures resulting from stroke. The author focuses on treatments supported by randomized controlled trials (RCTs), from the literature cited in Google Scholar, Embase, and Pubmed. Expert opinion: While behavioral rehabilitation is the most common intervention for many of the sequelae of stroke, relatively small RCTs support the use of noninvasive brain stimulation (transcranial direct current stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation) and medications that facilitate neural plasticity and recovery. These noninvasive brain stimulation methods remain investigational for post-stroke symptoms. The strongest evidence for pharmacological intervention is in the domains of post-stroke mood disorders and epilepsy, but additional RCTs are needed to confirm the efficacy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other medications for improving recovery of cognition, language, and energy after stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-576
Number of pages10
JournalExpert review of neurotherapeutics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2 2020


  • Stroke
  • aphasia
  • cognitive impairment
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • medication
  • rehabilitation
  • transcranial direct current stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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