Mood and Cognitive Trajectories Over the First Year after Mild Ischemic Stroke

Deena Ebaid, Laura J. Bird, Laura J.E. McCambridge, Emilio Werden, Jennifer Bradshaw, Toby Cumming, Eugene Tang, Amy Brodtmann

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Cognitive and mood dysfunction are major contributors to post-stroke disability. The longer-term trajectories of mood and cognition post-stroke remain unclear, as do which cognitive domains decline, improve, or remain stable after stroke, and in which patients. We aimed to characterize the cognitive trajectories of mild ischemic stroke survivors over one year compared to stroke-free controls, and to investigate whether symptoms of anxiety and depression were associated with cognitive function. Materials and methods: All participants were tested with a neuropsychological test battery at 3-months and 12-months post-stroke, assessing attention/processing speed, memory, visuospatial function, executive function, and language. Anxiety and depression symptomatology were also assessed at both timepoints. Results: Stroke participants (N=126, mean age 68.44 years ±11.83, 87 males, median [Q1, Q3] admission NIHSS=2 [1, 4]) performed worse on cognitive tests and endorsed significantly higher depression and anxiety symptomatology than controls (N=40, mean age=68.82 years ±6.33, 25 males) at both timepoints. Mood scores were not correlated with cognitive performance. Stroke participants' scores trended higher across cognitive domains from 3- to 12-months but statistically significant improvement was only observed on executive function tasks. Conclusion: Stroke participants performed significantly worse than controls on all cognitive domains following mild ischemic stroke. Stroke participants only exhibited statistically significant improvement on executive function tasks between 3- and 12- months. Whilst anxiety and depression symptoms were higher in stroke participants, this was not correlated with cognitive performance. Further studies are needed to understand factors underlying cognitive recovery and decline after stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106323
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Cognitive trajectories
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Mood
  • Mood trajectories

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