Basic Aspects of Impairment Evaluation in Stroke Patients
Focal brain lesions caused by stroke confer on the patient a set of neurological deficits. These deficits are called impairments. Evaluation of these impairments constitutes an essential first step in management of the patient. In the acute patient, evaluation of the impairments helps the physician determine the pathology, localization, and severity of the lesion. For rehabilitation, evaluation of the impairments helps the clinician determine functional prognosis, establish rehabilitation goals, and define the treatment program. The key neurological impairments observed in stroke patients may be grouped under the following headings: mental status, communication, cranial nerves, motor function, sensory function, and posture and balance. Evaluation methods for some of the deficits have been refined through the development of scaled tests, allowing quantification. Use of scores from scaled tests allows the clinician to rate severity of the impairment and to monitor recovery.
KeywordsStroke Patient Impairment Evaluation Communication Disorder High Mental Function Focal Brain Lesion
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