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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2015, Article ID 347920, 11 pages
Review Article

Factors Associated with Poststroke Fatigue: A Systematic Review

1Department of Pharmacology, University of Lille, INSERM U1171, 59045 Lille, France
2Department of Neurology, Stroke Center, University of Lille, INSERM U1171, 59045 Lille, France
3Department of Neurology, Memory Clinic, University of Lille, INSERM U1171, 59045 Lille, France

Received 28 February 2015; Revised 20 April 2015; Accepted 12 May 2015

Academic Editor: Alexander C. H. Geurts

Copyright © 2015 Amélie Ponchel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Poststroke fatigue (PSF) is a frequent, disabling symptom that lacks a consensual definition and a standardized evaluation method. The (multiple) causes of PSF have not been formally characterized. Objective. To identify factors associated with PSF. Method. A systematic review of articles referenced in MEDLINE. Only original studies having measured PSF and potentially associated factors were included. Data was extracted from articles using predefined data fields. Results. Although PSF tends to be more frequent in female patients and older patients, sociodemographic factors do not appear to have a major impact. There are strong associations between PSF and emotional disturbances (such as depression and anxiety). PSF may also be linked to attentional disturbances (mainly slowing in processing speed). The literature data have failed to demonstrate a clear impact of the type and severity of stroke. It has been suggested that PSF results from alterations in the frontothalamostriatal system and/or inflammatory processes. Pain, sleep disorders, and prestroke fatigue also appeared to be associated with PSF. Implications. A better understanding of PSF may improve stroke patient care and facilitate the development of effective treatments.