Objective: We examined cognitive performance in children after stroke to study the influence of age at stroke, seizures, lesion characteristics, neurologic impairment (NI), and functional outcome on cognitive outcome.
Methods: This was a prospectively designed study conducted in 99 children who sustained an arterial ischemic stroke (AIS) between the age of 1 month and 16 years. All children underwent cognitive and neurologic follow-up examination sessions 2 years after the insult. Cognitive development was assessed with age-appropriate instruments.
Results: Although mean cognitive performance was in the lower normative range, we found poorer results in subtests measuring visuoconstructive skills, short-term memory, and processing speed. Risk factors for negative cognitive outcome were young age at stroke, seizures, combined lesion location (cortical and subcortical), as well as marked NI.
Conclusions: We recommend that all children with a history of AIS undergo regularly scheduled neuropsychological assessment to ensure implementation of appropriate interventions and environmental adjustments as early as possible.