Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2012 Feb;12(1):34-41.
The role of the stroke units in improving morbidity, mortality, and recovery from stroke is clearly demonstrated. However, acute management of language disorders in these specialized units remains controversial, and management of swallowing disorders is usually nonstandardized. The recent validation of a scale for rapid screening of language disorders (LAST [Language Screening Test]) in acute stroke patients should allow optimization of their detection and early management. Swallowing disorders should be screened and managed using a standardized protocol. Following early initial evaluation repeated on a daily basis, they justify tailored rehabilitation sessions, adaptation of food textures, team formation, and families’ information. The use of these protocols implies the cooperation and coordination of the medical and paramedical teams and the daily presence of speech therapists. These aspects are crucial for patients in the stroke units to achieve full benefits from the management proposed in this paper, leading to diminution of complications and better long-term functional prognosis.