Malnutrition in patients with acute stroke.J Nutr Metab 2011; 2011:167898JN
Stroke is a devastating event that carries a potential for long-term disability. Malnutrition is frequently observed in patients with stroke, and dysphagia contributes to malnutrition risk. During both the acute phase of stroke and rehabilitation, specific nutritional interventions in the context of a multidisciplinary team effort can enhance the recovery of neurocognitive function. Early identification and management of malnutrition with dietary modifications or specific therapeutic strategies to ensure adequate nutritional intake should receive more attention, since poor nutritional status appears to exacerbate brain damage and to contribute to adverse outcome. The main purpose of nutritional intervention should be the prevention or treatment of complications resulting from energy-protein deficit. This paper reviews the evaluation and management of malnutrition and the use of specialized nutrition support in patients with stroke. Emphasis is given to enteral tube and oral feeding and to strategies to wean from tube feeding.