Inclusion Criteria1. ﬁrst-ever ischemic stroke;
2. single infarct in the distribution of the middle cerebral artery;
3. no evidence of hemorrhagic infarction;
4. age greater than 18 years;
5. admission between 3 and 7 days after stroke onset;
6. National Institute of Health Stroke Score (NIHSS) score of 4 to 21 on admission and
7. no thrombolytic or recanalization therapies.
Exclusion Criteria1. atrial fibrillation;
2. history of neurological or psychiatric disorders;
3. pre-stroke modified Rankin scale (mRS) > 1;
4. life expectancy < 1 year.