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Keywords:

  • cross-sectional study;
  • stroke;
  • neuropsychiatric symptoms;
  • neuropsychological disorders;
  • depression;
  • irritability

Objective:  The study aimed to characterize neuropsychiatric symptomatology and its evolution in a large group of poststroke patients during their first year.

Method:  The Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) was administered to a sample of 124 poststroke patients, divided into three independent groups on the basis of time from stroke (2, 6 and 12 months). The controls were 61 healthy subjects.

Results:  A wide range of neuropsychiatric symptoms was found significant in the poststroke population: mostly depression (61%), irritability (33%), eating disturbances (33%), agitation (28%), apathy (27%) and anxiety (23%). Modifications in terms of greater depression, anxiety, irritability and eating disturbances evolved in the year following stroke. Other symptoms were significantly present depending on time from stroke. Clear relations with other clinical and demographic variables were also found.

Conclusion:  Neuropsychiatric symptoms constitute an important part of comorbidity in stroke patients; thus, suitable assessment tools may improve clinical understanding of these patients.