Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Following Acute Stroke

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Purpose of Review

Stroke is a devastating event that annually affects over 800,000 million individuals in the USA and is associated with significant individual and social costs. In this narrative review, we summarize current evidence regarding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following acute stroke.

Recent Findings

In addition to the long-term physical consequences, it is increasingly recognized that psychological distress is common after stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA). Nearly 1 in 4 survivors of TIA and stroke report elevated symptoms of PTSD in the first year following their cerebrovascular event. Those individuals with PTSD symptoms are at elevated risk for not only sustained psychological distress but also increased risk for non-adherence to medication. Factors in the emergency department, such as crowding, may influence the development of PTSD following acute stroke and TIA. We also summarize the rationale and clinical importance of developing and implementing quantitative predictive models of post-stroke PTSD symptoms in the ED setting.


The potential of promising early interventions to prevent PTSD critically hinges on the accurate and precise identification of patients at risk for PTSD. Predictive modeling of PTSD risk may greatly facilitate the prospective management of mental health care in ED patients after stroke.

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    Correspondence to Katharina Schultebraucks.

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    Schultebraucks, K., Wen, T., Kronish, I.M. et al. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Following Acute Stroke. Curr Emerg Hosp Med Rep (2020) doi:10.1007/s40138-020-00206-5

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    • Post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Stroke
    • Transient ischemic attack
    • Emergency medicine
    • Prognostic models
    • Computational medicine
    • Acute care