Frequency and prognostic value of cognitive disorders in stroke patients

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2008;26(4):356-63. doi: 10.1159/000162262. Epub 2008 Oct 14.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attention / physiology
  • Cognition Disorders / complications
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Perception / physiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Space Perception / physiology
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / psychology*