New light shines after analyzes of post-stroke cognitive decline


She Cecil

The UNSW Sydney Center conducted a series of studies on healthy brain aging and presented new information to Wyndham residents about the risk factors that lead to more rapid cognitive decline after stroke.

The Stroke and Cognition Consortium (STROKOG) conducted nine studies in seven countries, with 1,488 stroke patients with an average age of 66 years included in the study, with follow-ups conducted for a median of three years .

“STROKOG is an international collaboration that brings together post-stroke cohort studies,” says Jessica Lo, lead author and study coordinator of STROKOG.

“By performing analyzes on combined datasets, this collaboration aims to better understand the determinants of cognitive decline and dementia after stroke, as well as improve the diagnosis and treatment of post-stroke cognitive impairment.”

Although loss of cognitive abilities following stroke is common, the extent of the effects of stroke on the brain and cognitive functions remains undetermined.

“We found that stroke survivors’ cognitive function improves for a short time soon after a stroke and then declines – starting about a year after the stroke,” says Jessica.

“The decline of stroke patients was small, but faster than that of those without stroke, and those who had a second stroke during follow-up had a much faster rate of cognitive decline.”

These findings were deemed important because of the implications they may have for the design of clinical trials preventing or slowing post-stroke cognitive decline, taking into account initial improvement and subsequent decline.

The research warrants further investigation into forming strategies to decrease and prevent cognitive decline after stroke, according to Professor Perminder Sachdev, co-director of the Center for Healthy Brain Aging and co-author of the research.

“The traditional focus in stroke rehabilitation has been on physical recovery and speech therapy, and cognitive function has been relatively neglected,” says Professor Sachdev.

“This work provides further evidence that cognitive assessment of stroke patients is important and that their cognitive complaints should not be ignored.”

For more information on the analysis and the organizations involved, visit


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