Inflammatory signaling in post-stroke fatigue and depression

Hongmei Wen, Kristianna B. Weymann, Lisa Wood, Qing Mei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Background: In the United States, stroke continues to be the cause for long-term disability. Of the patients with a first stroke, up to 75% will experience post-stroke fatigue (PSF) in the first year following stroke. PSF is one of the most disabling symptoms in stroke survivors; it decreases quality of life, increases mortality, and is a barrier to stroke rehabilitation. Given the incidence of stroke and the prevalence and detrimental impact of PSF on quality of life, independent living, and overall survival, efficient management of PSF must be a priority in stroke rehabilitation. The cause of PSF remains unknown. The burden of fatigue in stroke survivors is influenced by other stroke-related symptoms, most notably post-stroke depression (PSD). It is well known that stroke induces a systemic inflammatory response that is the trigger for sickness behavior, of which fatigue and depression are predominant symptoms. Summary: To date, only a handful of studies have sought to explore the relationship between stroke-induced inflammation and PSF and PSD. In this review, we describe this evidence, highlight the strengths and weaknesses of these existing studies, and suggest further experiments that may further support the association between stroke-related inflammatory processes and stroke-related symptoms. Key Messages: The current concept and further research are important for a more specific therapeutic intervention for PSF and PSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-148
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Neurology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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