Evolution of short cognitive test performance in stroke patients with vascular cognitive impairment and vascular dementia: Baseline evaluation and follow-up

ABSTRACT. There is limited evidence about the progression of cognitive performance during the post-stroke stage. Objective: To assess the evolution of cognitive performance in stroke patients without vascular cognitive impairment (VCI), patients with vascular mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and patients with vascular dementia (VD). Methods: A prospective cohort of stroke outpatients from two secondary medical centers in Lima, Peru was studied. We performed standardized evaluations at definitive diagnosis (baseline evaluation), and control follow-ups at 6 and 12 months, including a battery of short cognitive tests: Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR), Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE), and INECO Frontal Screening (IFS). Results: 152 outpatients completed the follow-up, showing progressive increase in mean score on the CDR(0.34 to 0.46), contrary to the pattern observed on the ACE and IFS (78.18 to 76.48 and 23.63 to 22.24). The box plot for the CDR test showed that VCI patients had progressive worsening (0.79 to 0.16). Conversely, this trend was not observed in subjects without VCI. The box plot for the ACE and IFS showed that, for the majority of the differentiated stroke types, both non-VCI and VCI patients had progressive worsening. Conclusion: According to both ACE and IFS results during a 1-year follow-up, the cognitive performance of stroke patients worsened, a trend which was particularly consistent in infarction-type stroke patients.