Why do they happen?
Cognitive problems happen because of damage to your brain.
Every second you receive a huge amount of information from the world around you, which your brain has to understand, organise and keep.
What kind of problems do people have?
Does it get better?
Problems with memory and thinking are usually worst during the worst few months after stroke, but they can and do get better.
They’re likely to improve very quickly over the first three months, as this is when your brain is at its most active, trying to repair itself.
It’s still possible for problems to improve after this, but you may find that it takes longer. Recovery tends to slow down, especially after six months.
Are there treatments that can help?
Although there has been research into treatments for these kinds of problems, so far it hasn’t shown that people really benefit from them. Certain therapies may help, but more research needs to be done before doctors can recommend them for general use.
So treatment usually focuses on ways to cope with your problems, rather than ‘fix’ them. Things that help you to do this are known as compensation or coping strategies.
An occupational therapist can help you learn coping strategies. This may involve using aids (such as writing in a diary or using labels and reminders) that can help you manage. Or it may involve learning mental techniques that can help you.