Introduction: The high incidence of stroke results in significant mortality and disability leading to immense health care costs. These costs lead to socioeconomic, budgetary, and staffing repercussions in developing countries. Improvements in stroke management focus mainly on acute neurological treatment, admission to stroke units, fibrinolytic treatment for ischaemic strokes and rehabilitation processes. Among these, rehabilitation has the longest therapeutic window, can be applied in both ischaemic and haemorrhagic strokes, and can improve functional outcomes months after stroke.
Development: Neurologists, because of their knowledge in neuroanatomy, physiopathology, neuro-pharmacology, and brain plasticity, are in an ideal position to actively participate in the neurorehabilitation process. Several processes have been shown to play a role in determining the efficacy of rehabilitation; time from stroke onset to rehabilitation admission and the duration and intensity of treatment.
Conclusions: Neurorehabilitation is a sub-speciality in which neurologists should be incorporated into multidisciplinary neurorehabilitation teams. Early time to rehabilitation admission and greater intensity and duration of treatment are associated with better functional outcomes, lower mortality/institutionalisation, and shorter length of stay. In order to be efficient, a concerted effort must be made to ensure patients receive neurorehabilitation treatment in a timely manner with appropriate intensity to maximize patient outcomes during both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.