Poststroke dementia

Lancet Neurol. 2005 Nov;4(11):752-9. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(05)70221-0.


Dementia is one of the major causes of dependency after stroke. The prevalence of poststroke dementia (PSD)-defined as any dementia occurring after stroke-is likely to increase in the future. In community-based studies, the prevalence of PSD in stroke survivors is about 30% and the incidence of new onset dementia after stroke increases from 7% after 1 year 48% after 25 years. Having a stroke doubles the risk of dementia. Patient-related variables associated with an increased risk of PSD are increasing age, low education level, dependency before stroke, prestroke cognitive decline without dementia, diabetes mellitus, atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction, epileptic seizures, sepsis, cardiac arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, silent cerebral infarcts, global and medial-temporal-lobe atrophy, and white-matter changes. Stroke-related variables associated with an increased risk of PSD are stroke severity, cause, location, and recurrence. PSD might be the result of vascular lesions, Alzheimer pathology, white-matter changes, or combinations of these. The cause of PSD differs among studies in relation to the mean age of patients, ethnicity, criteria used, and time after stroke. In developed countries, the proportion of patients with presumed Alzheimer's disease among those with PSD is between 19% and 61%. Patients with PSD have high mortality rates and are likely to be functionally impaired. These patients should be treated according to the current guidelines for stroke prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dementia / classification
  • Dementia / epidemiology
  • Dementia / etiology*
  • Dementia / mortality
  • Humans
  • Recurrence
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / mortality
  • Stroke / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome