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Stroke. 2000 Jul;31(7):1494-501.

Poststroke dementia : clinical features and risk factors.

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  • 1Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital de Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain.



The goal of the present study was to examine a series of putative risk factors of poststroke dementia (PSD), especially those factors usually associated with cerebrovascular disease and degenerative dementia, in a series of 251 consecutive unselected stroke patients.


A standard protocol was prospectively applied at admission and 3 months after stroke; this protocol included clinical, functional, and cognitive assessments, hemogram and serum biochemistry, ECG and CT exams, apolipoprotein E and angiotensin-converting enzyme genotype, and neuropsychological examination. After a neuropsychological examination and an interview with a relative, the following diagnostic criteria were used: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV for dementia after stroke, DSM-III-R for previous dementia and dementia stage, and Association Internationale pour la Recherche et l'Enseignement en Neurologie (NINDS-AIREN) for vascular dementia.


Seventy-five cases (30%) demonstrated dementia at 3-month follow up; 25 of them (10%) had demonstrated dementia before the stroke. Dementia was unrelated to type (ischemic/hemorrhagic) or location of stroke, vascular factors (hypertension, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, or hypercholesterolemia), apolipoprotein E or angiotensin-converting enzyme genotype, and serum homocysteine. Age (odds ratio [OR] 1.1, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.2), previous nephropathy (OR 6.1, 95% CI 1.5 to 24.3), atrial fibrillation (OR 4.4, 95% CI 1. 4 to 13.9), low Canadian Neurological Scale score at discharge (OR 0. 5, 95% CI 0.4 to 0.6), and previous mental decline assessed by the shortened Spanish version of the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (SS-IQCODE; OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1 to 1. 4) were the correlates of dementia in logistic regression analyses. The same risks factors were found when cases with previous dementia and with hemorrhagic stroke were excluded.


Dementia is frequent after ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. Age, nephropathy, atrial fibrillation, previous mental decline, and stroke severity independently contribute to the risk.

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