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J Neurol Sci. 2007 Jun 15;257(1-2):160-5. Epub 2007 Feb 20.

Neuropsychological abnormalities associated with lacunar infarction.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


The objective of this study was to assess neuropsychological abnormalities in 40 patients with lacunar infarction. Topography of infarction, presence of isolated or multiple silent infarcts and white matter hyperintensities were correlated with results of neuropsychological tests and subtypes of lacunar infarction. Patients were studied within 1 month after stroke. A total of 21 patients were males and the mean age was 70.7 years; 30% had a single infarction (mean number of infarctions was 3.4). Twelve patients had pure motor hemiparesis, 9 pure sensory stroke, 8 dysarthria-clumsy hand/ataxic hemiparesis, 8 atypical lacunar syndrome, and 3 sensorimotor stroke. The mean score of the Mini-Mental State Examination was 28.4. Mild cognitive impairment of subcortical vascular features occurred in 23 patients and isolated executive disturbances in 4. Neuropsychological results showed that patients with atypical lacunar syndrome followed by pure motor hemiparesis showed significantly more cognitive executive disturbances. Patients with dysarthria-clumsy hand/ataxic hemiparesis accounted for the best scores in some tests of visuoconstructive function and visual memory. In summary, mild neuropsychological disturbances (57.5%) are not infrequent in acute lacunar infarcts especially in patients with atypical lacunar syndrome and pure motor hemiparesis. Neuropsychological impairment should be considered as common clinical feature in acute lacunar infarction.

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