Long-term Stroke Recovery May Be Predictable With Simple Test

Contributing Editor

A 10-minute test taken within a week of a stroke may help predict how well people will recover up to three years later, reports a study in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers gave 274 people in Germany and France the Montreal Cognitive Assessment within a week of their stroke and divided them into two groups: those who had no trouble with thinking and memory skills, and those with cognitive impairment. Each group was tested on cognitive skills, motor functioning, and ability to complete daily living tasks six months later and then at one and three years post-stroke.

Participants who had thinking challenges on the first test were five times more likely to have trouble with motor skills than those who did not have thinking challenges early on. Three years after the stroke, 29 percent of those with thinking problems on the first test still had trouble with motor skills, compared with 5 percent of those who did not having thinking problems early on.

Source: Neurology