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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1999 Feb;53(1):39-43.

Screening of vascular cognitive impairment on a Hungarian cohort.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University Medical School of Debrecen, Hungary.


Cerebrovascular disease is a major public health problem in Eastern European countries. A Hungarian post-stroke population was examined to estimate the rate of dementia, the risk factors for cognitive impairment, and the applicability of a recently established Canadian diagnostic checklist in this cohort. Chronic cerebrovascular outpatients were screened for cognitive impairment with a combined checklist: the Diagnostic Checklist for Vascular Dementia established by the Consortium of Canadian Centres for Clinical Cognitive Research using the Mini Mental State Examination instead of the detailed neuropsychological part of the Checklist. Of the 247 consecutive patients at a cerebrovascular outpatient unit, 176 had cerebrovascular disorder diagnosed either by computed tomography (CT; n=126) or by the clinical signs. Of these, 15% were cognitively impaired and 5% fulfilled the criteria of dementia. The mean age of the patients with cognitive impairment was significantly higher than that of patients with normal cognition (68.2+/-10.2 and 60.5+/-10.5 years, P<0.001). The Barthel index was significantly lower in the cognitively affected group than in non-affected patients (92.4+/-16.0 and 97.1+/-8.7, P=0.027). Diabetes and more than two subcortical infarcts on CT or magnetic resonance imaging were more frequent in patients with cognitive loss (P=0.043 and P=0.013, respectively). Cognitive performance was also influenced by the level of education. Higher age, diabetes, motor deficits, and multiple subcortical infarcts are risk factors for cognitive impairment after stroke. The combined checklist appears to be a practical screening test for cognitive impairment in patients with chronic cerebrovascular diseases.

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