Introduction: Despite the current interest in criteria for vascular dementia, global, as opposed to focal, cognitive change after cerebral infarction has rarely been studied.
Material and methods: We documented the neuropsychological changes one to three weeks and three months post infarct in 25 unselected patients with acute, first cerebral infarcts.
Results: Improvements were seen in processes through to have a large subcortical component and in those mediated in the right hemisphere. Memory was relatively lightly affected.
Conclusion: The minimal deficits seen in memory and the predominance of subcortical changes are at variance with the currently suggested criteria for vascular dementia. Further data of this kind are needed before firm criteria can be proposed for the global pattern of cognitive changes expected in vascular dementia.