Test to tell if stroke victims will recover

Dear Sunshine

So many stroke survivors are drenched with depression. It is a common effect of the stroke. Please dont get too "low", it will delay your recovery for many months. When the depression waves crash over you, identify the waves and bat them away. A smile works wonders. As does head massage. I go to regular therapy group classes and that helps me a lot. The relaxation techniques are a big boost. And they also help me get good sleep on say 6 out of 7 nights. Sleep is so vital to our recovery and so hard to achieve.

Your choice of name is excellent. Sets you off in the right direction immediately.

best wishes


I will try to remember that, good advice. I used to smile alot, perhaps its time to let it show a bit more...

Apparently, we use a lot of muscles to smile and that has a positive reaction in our brains. It doesnt even need to be a genuine smile. False, forced or fake will suffice. So my doctor told me and my thjerapist says likewise. It works for me.


laugh i will remember that! X 

Hi John.

As SS I guess we’re all fairly lucky. (although if we hadn’t had strokes in the first place, we would have been luckier!....lol). I didn’t get to the hospital for several hours after it first started, maybe if I’d got there sooner things might have been different? I had a blockage (Ischemic stroke), which because of the time delay I had to have an operation. A long tube was inserted in my groin area and pushed all the way up to the blockage in my brain. I’ve heard that if the (Ischemic) stroke is detected early enough you can take a special clot busting drug? Unfortunately for me, over 8 hours passed by before I went in the hospital, a long time! But when I came round after the op everyone said how lucky I was to survive and I actually said to myself  “I live to see another day!”....lol. I spent 8 days in hospital, the doctors wanted me to stay longer (3 - 4 days more) but I was so anxious to get back home again. Like you John, I was on holiday, one I shall never forget in a hurry!........lol.



yes brugge. I remember reading about this in my hospital discharge notes.where they score you on this dihss (or something similar) scale. 

I didn't ask them what it all meant and why.its on for consultants to go at maybe?

unsure what score or whatever I was given.

possibly it was decent as iv recently just hit 6 years survival anniversary. hoping for more to come.

there's lots of life to be had after stroke.

tough frustrating times to get through early on.

setbacks. process all sorts. many dark days, but be determined. work hard. focus. do your physio. treat your body and mind with utmost respect, 

try to be positive. 

I can tell you this far along the journey, even here there is progress to be had. thought processes speed up. 

still lots of issues from stroke damage. 

but still here and


new to stroke people,  look forward to the better times coming. all is not doom and gloom.

anyway  brugge, sorry I digressed. 

cheers. v.


Hello Vinnie,

Just read your reply to my post.

I honestly don’t think any SS really recover mentally, it’s something that will be with you forever more.

 I can only speak from my own experience, and say that I’m not the carefree happy go lucky type I once was, and IMO the older you are the tougher it is. But I would just say that if you do all the right things to keep reasonably healthy, together with taking the correct medication, then you shouldn’t be heading for another stroke soon. Assessments, well?


What exercise did u do to walk its 8.btw since my stroke and still can't walk

Moira, Walking takes a long time to get back after a stroke. I was lucky that my hospital had a gym and physio got me walking with a frame at first and then holding on to two parallel bars in the gym. They also taught me how to get up and go down stairs. I also exercised on a bike machine to strength my leg muscles. The first time I walked outside on a frame was scary, but eventually I graduated to a stick.

Once on the stick, I walked as far as next door then back again. I added a house every day until I got to the end of the road and then went round the corner. I now have a short walk every morning and go to three exercises classes a week. I still walk with a stick outdoors, but can manage without one indoors. All this has taken three years, but I keep at it.

You can walk indoors by using walls and furniture to stabilise yourself. In the first instance I did have falls, but was taught how to get up. Now I manage fairly well, but havebto focus on walking and nothing else. Persistence pays off is my motto and I still try to improve on a daily basis. I wish you all the best.

Hi Sunshine. It's interesting you mention people think you've been drinking when you walk. There was a story on the news last week about raising awareness of people with Parkinsons who can sometimes walk that way and the ignorance of the public towards them. The story followed a man who accidentally clipped someones car when he was parking his. The woman who owned the car he clipped came over and gave him a mouthful and said she had seen him walking earlier and she was going to phone the police because she thought he was drunk. He was taken to the police station, tested and everything - a very traumatic experience I would imagine not just for anyone with Parkinsons but stroke victims too. I quite often stumble as if drunk when I walk - like my feet get tied in knots - and I do get funny looks from passers by. There needs to be much more awareness of the symptoms of stroke and other related brain injuries to 'educate' the public.

Dear OAU

Not sure how we educate the public. I dont think people can cope with any illness that lasts more than few weeks. Also, how do we describe our affliction. I often say I am brain damaged but most of us would perhaps not wish to use that terminology. Brain damage is commonly associated with stupidity and we arent stupid.

Then each one of us survivors are different. I have lots of cognitive issues but mobility isnt bad at all. Others have bigger and even much bigger, mobility issues.

Living in a village there is lots of gossip but also lots of nice people to see regularly. I have recently discovered that key people think I might collapse on them and thus are keen to stop me helping.

I get loads of warning before I would collapse yet they think I might keel over.

One of the nicest most helpful women in the village is currently suffering the agonies of a husband who had a stroke (last week). His is a bleed and needed huge surgery to repair damage. Lovely lady has said to me, on the quiet, "you understand what its like Colin" which I take as a huge compliment. But when I talk to other viallagers and mention the word stroke, I have been corrected quite brusquely and told he has a bleed on the brain and not a stroke. 

I despair of this. I dont mention the S word much because it just doesnt go down well. Now our friend needs support and help and yet the one person who can perhaps show an insight (me!) is marginalized.

To balance things a little, one of the checkout staff at the supermarket discreetly checks up on me to see if I need help. Thats a Co op and they do make an isuue of offering assistance to the less able, especially dementia issues. 

As SS we get a biased viewpoint and possibly we notice improvements in awareness much more than others. 

Generally, we need stroke to be hauled up alongside cancer in the awareness stakes. The number of strokes is quite mindblowing. Where are all these survivors ? Not around me thats for sure !




Sorry for late comment, I haven't been on for a while. Blimey that's awful, yes I totally agree, there should be more awareness. I've had people look at me funny because I have Asphasia and some days I can barely gety words out. I can feel them staring at me wondering why I am slurring. I usually tell people I've had a stroke, but sometimes it too much effort , I should have a t shirt that says it on there and when I enter a shop I show it off to all!! X 

Sorry I hit the wrong button didn't mean to hit the report button meant to hit the like button


Hi! I just read this thread of discussion about the Montreal Assessment test. I would rather know what things I can do to rehabilitate myself and as far as the future is concerned "Que sera, sera." As long as I know that I am doing the best I can do for my own recovery and rehabilitation with the help and support of everybody and anybody who are willing to help me - taking the right medications, exercising and moving as much as I can, eating and drinking sensibly and healthily but at the same time enjoying myself, enjoying life as much as I can with my family and friends. 

Accepting what happened and how my life has been turned upside down by stroke is very challenging enough without being limited or worried/frustrated/frightened by the result of the test. I would rather wish us all the best in our individual journeys of rehab and recoveries. smiley


The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) is a test used in most stroke units: normally in the first days to a week or two following a stroke. We use it as a 'cognitive screen': basically that means we can look at ways either a stroke has affected memory or functioning - things like being able to put things into a sequence, or arithmetic, recalling things, and some basic tests of language. Usefully it also gives us some clues where people have longterm problems with memory.

We don't use it to predict overall recovery - although a very bad MOCA score in someone who is quite stable following their stroke is usually a sign that they will need help with day to day tasks (and what type of tasks they would struggle with).

It has lots of shortfalls too - so for example when someone has severe language problems after a stroke you can't tell what is a memory problem and what is a language problem, so we have other ways of trying to tell the difference. We also have a number of different tests that are more useful in certain groups of people, such as the Oxford Cognitive Screen, which is a bit longer but helps us frame the information slightly differently which helps plan therapy.

If the cognitive tests showed an initial problem, they should usually be repeated at the 6 months review - that helps spot if there are early signs of longer term memory problems (stroke is linked to memory problems in later life so it is always useful to know the longer term effects - both as patient or carer to plan around that information; and as a professional so that if something happens in the future we have a 'baseline' to understand what may have changed since the previous stroke).

Not sure where the ' in most stroke units' comes from.

my assessment was more like "are you ok" I could talk and walk and was sent home with no advice at all.


A few days after his stroke my husband was given this assessment.  The OT who administered the test, arrived at his bedside as he was sleeping, woke him up and carried out the assessment. I tried to persuade her that this probably wasn't the optimum moment to do the assessment, but she went ahead anyway - even if she just intended to use it as a baseline, I think the results were very misleading, and not a true reflection of his capabilities. He was very distressed because he considered he'd 'failed', as he hadn't been given any time to properly 'wake up' before taking the test.

It's disappointing that professionals don't really seem to 'get' stroke, even though they spend their lives working with the fall-out.


I didn't have any such test during my 10 weeks in hospital. I was discharged on 27 April 2019 and have had no tests since. My view is that,all the various consultants involved in my care,  since my near fatal accident on 22 February 2019, are only concerned with getting the "DISCHARGED" box ticked!!!
Ongoing support from the NHS for stroke victims is nil in my area. The local Stroke Association is no better.

I didn't go into hospital with a stroke. It was caused when a stent was fitted to a dissected aorta caused by a 10metre fall from a ladder. I also suffered an extensively broken pelvis and 3 crushed vertebrae in my spine. Many would probably say a stroke is a small price to pay for being alive!!