The rehabilitation of patients recovering from brainstem strokes: case studies and clinical considerations.
An estimated 15% of all patients admitted to stroke rehabilitation units experience a brainstem stroke. Two case studies are presented to illustrate some of the difficulties encountered in the rehabilitation of these individuals. Unlike hemispheric stroke, the characteristic consequences of brainstem stroke include ataxia, dysarthria, and diplopia. Additionally, individuals with brainstem stroke may suffer from severe dysphagia and may require enteral feedings. Unlike the rehabilitation of patients with hemispheric stroke, where there is an impressive and relatively comprehensive research literature, there has been surprisingly little research published on the rehabilitation of patients with brainstem stroke despite the fact they represent a significant number of patients admitted to stroke rehabilitation units.
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