Stroke is a distressing event and in the western world it ranks in the top three leading causes of death in adults. The number of stroke survivors is increasing because of the improvement in the management of acute stroke. This has resulted in a larger group of patients with important residual physical and psychological impairment. The four major categories of cerebrovascular disease are atherosclerotic thrombosis, cerebral embolism, lacunae and intracranial hemorrhage. In this review, as in other published studies, all categories are defined as a stroke.