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The Rehabilitation of Younger Stroke Patients

Chapter 21
The Rehabilitation of Younger Stroke Patients
The young stroke population represents a significant rehabilitation challenge. When compared to older stroke patients, young patients are more often employed, caring for dependants, and relying on work-related income. Although much less common than in older patients, stroke in young adults has an annual incidence rate from 6 to 20 per 100,000 individuals annually (Leys et al. 2002). For every 5 individuals who experience a stroke, 1 is under the age of 65 while 5% of all stroke patients are younger than 45 years old. This represents a significant number of patients with some unique rehabilitation needs (Dixon et al. 2007; Stone 2007). This chapter reviews current research pertaining to incidence, risk, etiology, rehabilitation, recovery and prognosis of stroke in younger patients. Additional topics relevant to the young stroke population are also featured: Return to work, family stress, institutionalization, patient perceptions of care, and future needs.
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