Purpose of review The past 20 years have seen a 35% increase in prevalence of pediatric stroke. Contrary to widely held views, children do not recover better than adults. This review explores the impact of pediatric stroke on cognitive domains, including intellectual and executive functions, memory and behavior, and the influence of age, lesion characteristics, and comorbidities on outcome. Recent findings Cognitive problems occur in up to half of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke survivors. Single-center studies have shown intelligence quotient scores skewed to the lower end of the average range, with greater impairment in performance than verbal domains. Executive function, such as attention and processing speed are particularly vulnerable to the effects of pediatric stroke. Age at stroke, larger infarct size, cortical/subcortical lesion location, epilepsy, and comorbid physical deficits are associated with poorer cognitive outcomes. Summary Cognitive impairment occurs relatively frequently following pediatric stroke but the nature, severity, and predictors of specific deficits are not well defined. Improving understanding of outcomes following pediatric stroke is a key priority for families but a paucity of data limits the ability to develop targeted disease, and age-specific pediatric rehabilitation strategies to optimize cognitive outcomes following pediatric stroke.
- executive function
- pediatric stroke