Get access

High frequency of cognitive dysfunction before stroke among older people



Objectives We examined cognitive functions before and in acute phase of stroke studying frequency and profile of cognitive impairment and relationships between cognitive status.


Seventy-four patients with early phase after stroke and 49 healthy controls were included and examined using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and a battery of neuropsychological tests. Cognitive status before stroke-onset was investigated using Cognitive Impairment Questionnaire.


Cognitive impairments were present in 96% of patients after stroke onset using the battery of neuropsychological tests and in 39% of patients using the MMSE, but in only 9% of controls. Seventy-six percent exhibited reduced executive function and 75% reduced psychomotor tempo. Cognitive dysfunction was present in 52% before stroke onset without any impact on the frequency of impairment in the various cognitive areas in early phase after stroke.


Cognitive impairment is frequent before the onset of stroke among older people and may partially explain the very high frequency of cognitive impairment observed after stroke onset. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.