A Canadian study has shown that Indo-Asians subjects had a greater degree of atherosclerosis and plaque instability when compared with European and Chinese cohorts. Worldwide, stroke is the third most common cause of death after heart disease and cancer and two-thirds of cases occur in developing countries. The conventional vascular risk factors include increasing age, diabetes, hypertension, tobacco smoking and dyslipidaemia. Rehabilitation should start early in a stroke rehabilitation unit with the aim of restoring function and reducing the impact of stroke on the patients and their carers. The Western-trained medical professional might see these beliefs as irrational and illogical. Brain imaging should be done on all patients to detect intracerebral or subarachnoid haemorrhage and exclude other causes of stroke, within 48 hours of onset. Traditional beliefs are that spirits or the 'evil eye' has caused the illness, particularly a stroke, and this must be dealt with quasi-religious or paranormal rituals.