Complications of Stroke
Depression is a common consequence of a stroke. It develops during the recovery and affects approximately every fifth affected person. Depression is mostly registered in people who have suffered a permanent loss of certain functions such as mobility, speech or independence. In some patients, the depression is rather severe and requires specific therapy.
Apart from depression, patients who have suffered a stoke usually go through a variety of emotional changes. This can be a consequence of the damage of the emotional centers in the brain or the reaction to the disease. Mood changes are frequent and at one moment a patient can laugh loudly while after a little while he/she may burst into tears. Changes of mood can be related to depression or develop separately.
Epilepsy is another complication of a stroke. The changes in brain's structure due to a stroke lead to excess of electrical activity which triggers seizures. This complication can be successfully brought under control by anticonvulsants.
People who have had stoke are prone to infections such as chest and lung infections as well as urinary infections. Chest and lung infections usually occur because the patients are bedridden for a long period of time or due to problems with swallowing when food can accidentally enter the airways. Urinary infection is caused by catheters.
Painful shoulder is another possible complication of a stroke. It occurs in patients whose one side of the body is paralyzed and the muscles become weak and can be easily damaged. The damage is caused either by improper position in bed or by accidental fall. Physical therapy can prevent and take care of already existing pain. Apart from painful shoulder a patient may as well complain about 'deep' pain in the bones or muscles of the extremities. This pain is a result of abnormal pain pathways which develop after the stroke.
Dementia mostly affects people who have suffered several strokes. The loss of memory and intelligence can be additionally accompanied by a very unusual behavior which requires psychiatric nursing and medical care.
Deep vein thrombosis occurs due to prolonged lying in bed which leads to increased formation of blood clots. The fatal consequence can include pulmonary embolism, but the doctors take care of proper coagulation of the patients who have suffered a stroke paying special attention to this particular complication.
And finally, the worst complication of a stroke is death. Some people almost instantly develop coma and die and some die due to certain complications of the disease.