About RIC's Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery Program - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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About RIC's Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery Program

“We at RIC know more about the brain than we ever have before. We know that through practice, repetition and intensity that we have a better chance of stimulating neuroplasticity, or new neural pathways in the brain.”

--T. George Hornby, Ph.D., Research Scientist, RIC

About strokes:

  • Every 45 seconds, someone in America suffers a stroke[1], and it’s the #1 cause of long term disability in this country[2]. That means approximately 800,000 strokes occur in the U.S. each year.
  • There are 4 million Americans living with the repercussions of stroke[3].
  • Stroke can affect anyone – people one to 81 years old. Stroke can be caused by congenial issues, or have no known cause at all.
  • Of all stroke patients, only one-third return-to-work. Of the two-thirds of stroke survivors who have had strokes that do not return to work, many face long-term medical issues and other complications. There are also attitudinal barriers that exist with employers who are afraid to hire people with significant disabilities from stroke.

About RIC's Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery Program:

  • RIC treats nearly 1,300 stroke inpatients each year.
  • 33% of RIC inpatient stroke patients are 55 years old or younger.
  • RIC holds six federal research designations including the ONLY federal Stroke Rehabilitation Research Training Center awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) and the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research focused on engineering for neurologic rehabilitation awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • RIC’s new Patient Recovery Unit and AbilityLab™ integrates researchers alongside clinicians that work together around each patient, innovating therapies and treatments for better, faster recoveries. This unique model of care is a pilot model for RIC’s new Research Hospital to open in 2016.

[1] Williams GR, Jiang JG, Matchar DB, Samsa GP. Incidence and Occurrence of Total (First-Ever and Recurrent) Stroke. Stroke. 1999;30:2523-2528.


[2] Hoyert DL, Kochanek KD, Murphy SL. Deaths: Final Data for 1997. National Vital Statistics Reports; Vol. 47 no. 19. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics. 1999


[3] American Heart Association. 1999 Heart and Stroke Statistical Update. Dallas, Texas: American Heart Association. 1998.