Test to tell if stroke victims will recover

Hello Everyone, 

I came across this article in a newspaper the other day, of course it’s too late for most of us now! Let me just say that I remain neutral in my opinion of this. Anyway here goes, A bedside test taken by people who had a stroke could be used to predict what their health will be like in the near future, scientists have found. It’s called the ‘thinking skills test’, which is done in the week after a stroke and grades memory, language and concentration abilities, can identify patients who are seven times more likely to die within three years. Patients who do badly are more than twice as likely to later struggle with daily activities such as washing and dressing. It’s called The Montreal Cognitive Assessment and takes only minutes to complete and is widely used to gauge people who have suffered a stroke. I mean would any of us really want to know our outcomes? I for one wouldn’t, IMO it would probably make most of us even more depressed than we already are!

Ps. There is more to this article if anyones interested, but it would take quite a bit of reading and understanding!


Hi Brugge, 

I agree with you,  sometimes the less we know the better.  

When I was admitted to the Stroke unit they did an assessment of me and what I was likely to achieve on discharge.  They said step transfers.  Standing up and turning around with a walking frame. I wasn't told this until the night before my discharge from hospital.  The following morning I walked from my bed to the car that was taking me home.  Self caring for washing and dressing able to climb a flight of stairs.  Typical S.S don't know the rules! !

Not sure how I would have dealt with such info.




That’s very interesting, Brugge and Kay, as last night I came across an assessment for John on a text message I’d posted to a nephew (I wanted his latest address for his birthday card.). I’d written ‘r tacs’ first score 20/42 On 8th Feb and 6/42 twenty four hours later. Intrigued, I googled as I’d forgotten exactly what it meant. It was the score  he achieved on admission using NIHSS, ie all his movements and responses. It also said that the higher the first score, the greater the severity and poorer prognosis for recovery. anything over 16/42 wasn’t good news. It also talked about the risk of using the thromboliser (clot buster) to break down the clot on John’s brain. No wonder the Consultant was buzzing in and out whilst it was administered! He left with a big smile on his face and next morning he showed me the scan pointing out that John would have (not been here,,word omitted) had he not been treated so quickly.

So, girls, what a great outcome? It’ll be his second anniversary on 7/2/19 and we WILL celebrate. I ignored all the stuff about AF and its predictions, the severity of the first results etc because he has outdone himself. From being almost in a coma, paralysed, lost speech, he was able to joke within a few hours and even have his hospital dinner. One of the funny stories about this meal; Bren asked him what was wrong with his face. Obviously, his face was drooped from the Stroke but he looked like a chipmunk. John fished out a full sprout, mashed potato, pastry and gravy. He’d been totally oblivious he had tucked a meal away lol! 

There will always be someone who will buck the trend. On this occasion I’m glad it was John,,,,typical ha ha ??‍♂️

I have not heard of this, but I expect nursing staff know a lot through experience. Quite early on the Ward Sister said to me, ‘I know who will walk out of here and who won’t. You will.’ There was some concern about my short term memory and I was put on a waiting list to see a neurophyschologist. When I saw her she grilled me for an hour and a half and told me my memory was better than most people who hadn’t had a stroke. That said, I am fully aware I am one of the lucky ones.

I recognise this - my husband did this assessment whilst in hospital.  I don't know his results, but I remember being a bit miffed as they administered the test about 3 minutes after he'd woken up, and he wasn't at all compos mentis.  There are all kinds of factors which could give a misleading outcome in an assessment.  It's just a snapshot, and not indicative of what is possible, as demonstrated by the SS on this site.  

I guess the medics need a benchmark to work from, and I think he was re-tested when he was at home.  I'll try to read up later.

Thanks for the info B  


Hi John, how lovely and reassuring for you that the ward Sister saw your potential.  It clearly made an impression because you have carried that memory with you, a little voice urging you onwards, and, of course, you've lived to help others by sharing your journey.  


Isn’t isn’t the montreal assessment the same as the one Donald Trump took! I’m not sure what that tells us. 

d. trump surely just wrote a few assessments of himself himself and then picked the one most favourable, all others are fake by definition, lol!

We're all dooooomed!

Hi NicABella,

As hospitals are so busy these days and things tend to take a long time, I’m fairly grateful for anything that comes my way these days, even though a lot of it I think, could be irrelevant? I’ll still go along as I don’t want any treatment to be withdrawn, which was previously mentioned to me. To be honest, I’m pleased for any attention, as I wasn’t getting much in the first few weeks after I had the stroke.


Hi John,

Thanks for your reply to my post. I guess you could say I’m one of the lucky ones as well. I was told by the doctor that I could have died, if I hadn’t had my operation together with all their care. So I live to see another day!


I was very luck because I was in hospital A& E within an hour, although I can remember nothing about. My stroke was due to a bleed and in A&E my blood pressure was over 200. I have no idea what treatment they gave me and everything has been blanked out. We were on holiday in Devon, but I was brought back to Worcestershire by ambulance after 4 days. That’s when my memory started to kick back in. I don’t even know if I ate or drank anything those first 4 days.

Since then, it has been a long recovery period and today, I am much more ‘myself’ whatever that may mean.

Agree 100%


I don't think I would want to know, I'm ten years post my first stroke and a year post the last stroke I'm still learning new things all the time. I was told I wouldn't walk - I do... Told I wouldn't drive again- I do...I do 80% of most things still need some help with stuff but never stopped trying. 

Hi, you are an inspiration. I had stroke in January and i am always wondering whether its going to happen again as alot of stroke survivors mention their FIRST or second stroke.... Then if it does happen again any progress made from a first stroke would be like starting again if that makes sense ? 

Dear Sunshine

There is a high chance of a second stroke in the first month of recovery. Once we are past that month then we should be on appropriate medication, diet and exercise so we are far less likely to have another stroke.

Yes we would be back to square one if a second stroke bites.

Many of us have an irrational fear of a second stroke, probably mother natures instinct telling us to avoid another one. That emotion faded for me.

Most survivors of five years and more, or even one year and more, would be unlikely to post on this forum, so its mainly those of us still suffering that make the posts. 

Recovery is helped if we are positive.

Immediate recovery is helped if we smile a lot. False, forced , fake or real smile makes a good impact on our attitude.

The worst is over within a year, so take heart and look at what you can now do.

You survived. Well done Sunshine.

Best wishes


Thank you, yes this all makes sense. Because recovery is so very slow and im battling (like everyone else) with so many aspects its the thought of going back to square one that frightens me. Had stroke in January and its now almost December and still bad asphasia (words still jumbled and unclear) cognitive issues,  walking problems (people think ive been drinking when i walk!), chronic fatigue (not just physical but cognitive), right side weakness and the list goes on....!  i feel broken.  But yes everything you are saying is true and its nice to speak to people who really understand.  I also get awful Mood swings! Not to mention angry at world wondering why me. But i always think there is always someone worse off than yourself and we r still here x 

You talk so much sense. I dont get mood swings, in fact thats something that is better now than pre stroke. But all the other stuff is with me. I too have aphasia but after 18 months it was totally manageable and now its just remnants. Yes indeed the SF comes from either cognitive or physical or both> i think you have discovered this quickly, it took me more than a year to get to grips with that. My problem is left and yours is right, which is a bit odd (me not you) because I understood the speech etc was in the left of the brain and my damage is in the right side. We are all different arent we.

Yes, we have been chosen to live where many have died. There must be a reason for sparing us and I continue to search for that reason. I block out thoughts of "why me". And I think why did I survive. I also got a miracle fast mobility boost. I was 90% paralysed for three days then the next morning I got up and walked across the ward. No one else did that, so I reckon it was a miracle. 

BTW you write a good posting. Only 11 months and you write a most intelligent post. 

You are not alone

Best wishes


It does, I still take one day at a time. X

Aaaaw you really are an inspiration,  i have been feeling pretty low lately and reading your response has really helped,  thank you.