Devoting a meeting to stroke perfectly fits into the ongoing work at Institut Servier. In fact, most of the themes over recent years have addressed the consequences of ageing, and stroke is all the more frequent with advancing age. With an incidence of 150,000 cases a year in France and a prevalence of about 500,000, stroke represents a major public health issue. Stroke often causes death or has sequelae that cause disability or loss of independence, with extended hospitalisation possible, imposing
a considerable burden on health care resources.
Moreover, we cannot ignore the impact of personal loss of cognitive function—even dementia—following a stroke that was apparently mild. Reactional depression is a common consequence, along with resulting upheaval for the family unit. Diverse factors determine prognosis, which varies hugely from one subject to another after a stroke but it is reassuring to observe that there has been significant improvement due to more timely and more effective management, especially in special Stroke Units. In addition, advances in re-education techniques have significantly attenuated the impact of sequelae. However, coordination across the country remains irregular and weak so logistical access-to-care deficiencies are far from resolved.