The prevalence of stroke increases each year and while morbidity from stroke has decreased the prevalence of comorbidities such as stress and fatigue affect as many as 75% of stroke survivors. Post-stroke fatigue aetiology remains to be clarified though it is shown to negatively impact health-related quality of life, and is associated with increased mortality, delayed return to work and increased dependency. We aim to understand how changes in the levels of stress affect the relationship between post-stroke fatigue and quality of life. This will be achieved by investigating the moderating role of perceived stress on the effect of post-stroke fatigue. The extent of this moderation can have important clinical implications in designing interventional strategies aimed at reducing post-stroke fatigue. Our secondary objective is to identify and measure molecular biomarkers associated with post-stroke fatigue. A thorough understanding of the biomarkers associated with post-stroke symptoms could provide biological measurement processes for follow up or early diagnosis. By determining the biomarkers associated with post-stroke fatigue, higher specificity of diagnosis can potentially be achieved, and therapeutic targets can be improved. Though the benefit of elucidating these biomarkers in stroke survivors has such high potential for novel screening and therapeutic interventions, research to map potential biomarkers specific to post-stroke fatigue has not previously been undertaken. Our study will provide crucial evidence to implement stress management strategies and introduce novel avenues for diagnosis and treatment among stroke survivors to mitigate the debilitating impact of fatigue on their quality of life.
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