What is stroke?

Stroke, also known as a cerebral vascular accident, is an impeded blood supply to some parts of the brain.

There are two major types of stroke: Ischemic stroke & Hemorrhagic stroke.

Ischemic stroke is accountable for 80% of all strokes. During an ischemic stroke the supply of blood and oxygen to the brain is blocked. This usually happens because of blood clots in an artery to the brain or a narrowing of the arteries (carotid stenosis) blocking or impeding the blood flow.

In a hemorrhagic stroke, an artery in the brain bursts. There are two main types of hemorrhagic stroke.

An intracerebral hemorrhage happens when a blood vessel in the brain leaks blood into the brain. A subarachnoid hemorrhage happens when there is bleeding under the outer membranes of the brain and into the thin fluid–filled space that surrounds the brain.

This type of hemorrhage can cause extensive damage to the brain and is the most lethal of all strokes.

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How do I know if someone is having a stroke?

If you think someone is having a stroke, perform this simple test.

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Rehabilitation and Recovery

Many people with Stroke are admitted to a hospital with an acute Stroke unit or rehab unit, where they receive expert treatment and rehab involving the collaboration of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and social workers.

The amount of recovery following a Stroke depends on the severity of the initial damage. Recovery to the brain is most rapid in the first three to six months after the Stroke.

The recovery period, however, never ends as the possibility of further improvement is always there. The aim is to never stop striving and hoping for continued progress!

Rehabilitation is ultimately the responsibility of the person with Stroke, and the carer, not just the therapists, and in fact the therapists see their job as not supporting the person with Stroke for ever, but giving him/her and family the confidence and guidance to enable them to take over personal responsibility for further recovery.

Support Groups

Have you or a loved one, friend or colleague experienced a stroke? Do you wish you could find people who understand? People who you can share stories with? People who may be able to answer your questions?

Would you like to take time out in a caring, understanding environment?

Support groups can do all this, plus provide engaging guest speakers and activities. Please contact one of the group coordinators listed below for more information.

Southern Social Lunch Group 

(formerly Northern Fleurieu)

Meetings are held monthly.
Contact Wil Swart on
08 8326 2668 or 0401 410 047

Flinders Support Group

Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month at 1:00pm – 2:30pm.


Contact Karyn Kennedy on
0438 615 449 for further information.

Venue: Flinders Medical Centre Bedford Park, Rehabilitation Building, Teal Room 1, located on the 4th Floor.

Central Support Group

Meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 10:30am.

Contact Simone Ridge- Cooke
on 08 8352 4644.

Venue: THRFG – Stroke

25 King William Rd UNLEY

Western Support Group

Meets on the first Thursday of the month at 11am.

To register your interest in attending, please phone 08 8352 4644

Venue: THRFG

62 Woodville Rd WOODVILLE

Ongoing Support

THRFG Stroke provides support, information and assistance to people who have experienced Stroke and their carers.

Metropolitan and regional support groups offer people with Stroke and their carers the opportunity for social contact with others who have had a similar experience and who can provide peer support.

Our support groups also aim to promote appropriate services for the treatment and rehabilitation of those with stroke and to increase public awareness of stroke. Many people find that these groups give them back what they thought they would never enjoy again, increased self esteem, fellowship, sense of purpose, pleasure in life and fun.

THRFG Stroke provides opportunities for people to access a suite of support services to support their rehabilitation such as counselling, wellbeing and resilience coaching, a clinical nurse consultant, occupational therapy, exercise physiology as well as recreational and peer support groups.

More specifically, the services made available through THRF Group, such as counselling, provide support around relationships, ambitions, emotions, values, mental health and identity concerns. There is also a focus on wellbeing and resilience coaching, giving stroke survivors and their families the support and practical tools to maximise their quality of life as part of coming to terms with a “new normal” post stroke.

Our occupational therapy service helps people achieve desired outcomes by developing the necessary skills to engage in activities important to them. This can be done through environmental modification, task adaptation, provision of assistive technology, rehabilitation and retraining.

For further information and resources call: (08) 8352 4644 or email

Research Programs

We are aware of the following research / programs.

Would you use a Restorative Brain-Computer Interface if it can improve your hand functions after stroke?

It is believed that the impaired movement functions after stroke are caused by the damage in specific parts of the brain, which in turn lead to disconnection in neural pathways that are in charge of the movement.

We investigated a technique named motor imagery based brain-computer interfacing (MI-BCI) that allows rewiring the impaired neural pathways caused by stroke.

To further develop this technology we need to know the features of the interface that are most important to users of the technology and the considerations of cost relative to benefit in using the technology.

If you would like to take part in the survey, click here.

For further information please contact Dr Sam Darvishi via email to

How do botox injections into the tight (spastic) muscles, following a stroke, improve walking

We are looking at how Botox injection into the tight (spastic) muscles following stroke can improve walking. This study involves participating in a 6 months trial with injection of Botox or placebo and assessment by the multidisciplinary rehabilitation team including Rehabilitation Medicine Specialist, Physiotherapist and Exercise Physiologist. Participants (20 years and above) will have one session of injection (either Botox or Placebo) after initial assessment and three subsequent follow up visits. All participants will have physiotherapy and walking training.

Associate Professor Anupam Datta Gupta, Senior Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is conducting the study with other researchers. If you are interested in participating or have more questions, please contact 08 8222 7322 or email

Using Brain Stimulation to Treat Post-Stroke Depression

This study aims to investigate non-invasive brain stimulation approaches to treat people who are experiencing post-stroke depression. This study has been approved by the University of South Australia Human Research Ethics Committee.

For more information or to find out if you are eligible, please contact Dr Brenton Hordacre, Research Coordinator; mobile: 0422056018, office: 83021286, or email:

Please note the following disclaimer applies to all research projects and programs listed on this website:

THRFG Stroke is not responsible for, and does not endorse, any research project, opportunity, or other type of project or program listed. Participants are responsible for satisfying themselves that appropriate approval procedures have been met and are advised to read all related information before taking part. If you have any concerns regarding any of the projects or programs listed here, these should be directed to the researcher or other contacts stated.