The clinical outcomes of neonatal and childhood stroke: review of the literature and implications for future research

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Abstract

A detailed assessment of clinical outcomes after ischemic stroke in childhood is necessary to evaluate prognostic factors. Previous studies are difficult to compare because of differences in test instruments, study design, heterogeneity of cohorts and number of included cases. Depending on neurodevelopmental assessment methods, major and subtle/minor disabilities, especially in infants, may not have been detected. Most outcome studies reveal only limited information about behavioral changes and quality of life in children with ischemic stroke. Thus the assumption that children make a better recovery from stroke than adults due to the immature brain's capacity to reorganize function is not evidence-based. We systematically review the current literature with regard to the neurological and psychosocial development of affected children as well as their quality of life. Implications for future research strategies follow the review to encourage further clinical study of the neurobehavioral trajectory of childhood stroke.

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