Background: Few studies have examined the profile of cognitive impairments in older stroke patients without dementia. Method: A standardized evaluation including a detailed neuropsychological assessment [Cambridge Examination for Mental Disorders in the Elderly – cognitive subscale (CAMCOG)] and computerised tests of attention and working memory from the Cognitive Drug Research battery were undertaken in 150 stroke survivors of >75 years of age and 30 elderly controls. Results: The stroke survivors without dementia had significantly greater overall impairment on the CAMCOG, as well as significantly greater impairment in memory, simple reaction time, choice reaction time (CRT), vigilance accuracy, CRT variability, spatial working memory reaction time (SWMRT) and numerical working memory than the elderly controls (e.g. CRT ↑ 33%, SWMRT ↑ 61%, memory ⇓ 11%). Conclusion: Impairments of cognitive processing speed, working memory and executive functions are frequent in elderly stroke patients without dementia and represent the main cognitive components of early cognitive impairments.

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