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June 2004

Are Patients With Cognitive Impairment After Stroke at Increased Risk for Developing Alzheimer Disease?

Arch Neurol. 2004;61(6):983. doi:10.1001/archneur.61.6.983-b

Honig et al1 recently reported that stroke was associated with Alzheimer disease (AD) and that the presence of conventional vascular risk factors increased this association. Our data on cognitive impairment after stroke may help raise questions for future studies.

We evaluated 171 consecutive patients (mean± SD age, 66.1 ± 11.4 years; all white; 70 [41%] women) who were admitted to the University Hospital of Patras (Patras, Greece) with a first episode of ischemic stroke and who underwent follow-up until 1 year poststroke. Demographic data, educational level, medical history, and vascular risk factors (arterial hypertension, atrial fibrillation, diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease, hypercholesterolemia, tobacco smoking, and alcohol consumption) were recorded at admission. Brain imaging was carried out in all cases. The Mini-Mental State Examination2 was administered 1 year after stroke (cutoff point for cognitive impairment, score <24). Patients with cognitive impairment or a diagnosis of dementia prior to stroke and with residual communication problems were excluded.

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