Stroke is a disease which affects the life of the patient with highly different consequences. In an Estonian study by Vibo et al (2007), the percentage of functionally dependent patients at year 1 was 20% and the survival rate was 56%.
In young adults the etiology of stroke is more heterogenous than in older stroke patients who are more likely to have traditional atherosclerotic risk factors. The most common acquired condition is presence of antiphospholipid antibodies; genetic prothrombotic conditions play an important role in evaluation of young patients with venous thrombosis, vasculitides, cervical artery dissection, and other vascular abnormalities. Management of stroke should include acute treatment with thrombolysis as well as activities to find out the etiologic factor and to prevent the next attack. Use of antithrombotic therapy is most effective in young adults with stroke.
An illustrative overview is presented of a case of a 35-year-old woman with stroke and of her possible risk factors.