Background: Stroke is one of the most common diseases to cause cognitive disorders in adults. Aims: To assess the frequency of cognitive deficits in stroke patients and to evaluate the prognostic value of cognitive syndromes for functional recovery. Methods: 200 consecutive patients were examined using a clinical screening battery for cognitive assessment in the second week after their first-ever stroke. 80 were re-examined after a 1-year follow-up. Results: In the post-acute stage, 78% patients were impaired in one or more cognitive domains. The most frequently affected cognitive abilities were attention (48.5%), language (27%), short-term memory (24.5%) and executive functions (18.5%). At the 1-year follow-up, attention deficits were still the most frequent symptom. In contrast, executive dysfunction, aphasia, and long-term memory disorder were significantly less frequent than in the post-acute period. Logistic regression analysis showed that older age, lower score on the Barthel Index, and the presence of executive dysfunction on initial examination were significant predictors of a poor functional outcome at the 1-year follow-up examination. Conclusions: Cognitive-behavioral syndromes are frequent and often chronic consequences of stroke. Executive deficits proved to be the most robust cognitive predictor of poor functional recovery after stroke.

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