Background: Stroke is one of the most common diseases to cause cognitive disorders in adults.
Aims: To assess the frequency of cognitive deficits in stroke patients and to evaluate the prognostic value of cognitive syndromes for functional recovery.
Methods: 200 consecutive patients were examined using a clinical screening battery for cognitive assessment in the second week after their first-ever stroke. 80 were re-examined after a 1-year follow-up.
Results: In the post-acute stage, 78% patients were impaired in one or more cognitive domains. The most frequently affected cognitive abilities were attention (48.5%), language (27%), short-term memory (24.5%) and executive functions (18.5%). At the 1-year follow-up, attention deficits were still the most frequent symptom. In contrast, executive dysfunction, aphasia, and long-term memory disorder were significantly less frequent than in the post-acute period. Logistic regression analysis showed that older age, lower score on the Barthel Index, and the presence of executive dysfunction on initial examination were significant predictors of a poor functional outcome at the 1-year follow-up examination.
Conclusions: Cognitive-behavioral syndromes are frequent and often chronic consequences of stroke. Executive deficits proved to be the most robust cognitive predictor of poor functional recovery after stroke.
Copyright 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.