How long does a stroke last

There is no straightforward answer as to how long the consequences of stroke will last.

The recovery time needed will depend on the severity of the stroke.

Every stroke is different, and may leave patients with problems relating to how their body works.

  • The brain is the control centre of our body.
  • Different areas of our brains are responsible for controlling the different aspects of our body and mental functions.
  • Stroke causes injury to the brain: some brain cells die and others are damaged.
  • The location and degree of injury to the brain can affect how the body works.
  • The brain injury caused by a stroke leaves many patients with functional problems.

Some common problems after stroke


Difficulty with mental processing (eg thinking, memory)

Dysphasia (difficulty with language)

Difficulty with swallowing

Problems with balance

Emotional disturbance

Problems with bladder control

Problems with bowel control

  • As every stroke is different, stroke survivors will not necessarily be left with the same types, or severity, of problems.
  • The consequences of stroke can be short- or long-lasting.
  • After stroke some brain cells may be only temporarily affected, not killed, and may resume functioning.
  • Other parts of the brain may ‘take over’ the function of a damaged area of the brain.
  • Some stroke survivors (up to 30%) are left permanently disabled and many require institutional care.
  • If rehabilitation support is available in your country, they may teach stroke survivors how to cope with or adapt to the long-term consequences of stroke.
  • It’s important to remember that ‘best possible recovery’ and the time taken to reach it will be different for every patient.

Every stroke is different. It affects people in different ways. Some people have symptoms for a short time, for others they are long-lasting.