Post-stroke fatigue: a review of development, prevalence, predisposing factors, measurements, and treatments

Front Neurol. 2023 Dec 21:14:1298915. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2023.1298915. eCollection 2023.


Background: Post-stroke fatigue (PSF) is a ubiquitous and overwhelming symptom for most stroke survivors. However, there are no effective management strategies for PSF, which is partly due to our limited understanding.

Objective: In this paper, we review the development, prevalence, predisposing factors, measurements, and treatments of PSF.

Results: PSF is an independent symptom after stroke, with a prevalence ranging from 42 to 53%, which depends on the selection of measurement tools and stroke characteristics. It is affected by biological, physical, and psychological factors, among which inflammation may play a key role.

Conclusion: Numerous but non-specific evaluation measurement tools limit the management of PSF. In clinical practice, it may be beneficial to identify PSF by combining scales and objective indexes, such as walking tests and electromyographic examinations. There are no evidence-based interventions to improve PSF. However, increasing evidence suggests that transcranial direct-current stimulation and mindfulness-based interventions may become promising treatments. Further studies are urgently needed to better understand the etiology of PSF, thereby providing the basis for developing new measurement tools and targeted treatments.

Keywords: cerebrovascular accident; fatigue; infarction; rehabilitation; review; stroke.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

The author(s) declare that no financial support was received for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.