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PURPOSE: Cognitive impairment is a common consequence of stroke and has direct implications for poststroke functioning and quality of life, including the ability to maintain a job, live independently, sustain interpersonal relationships, and drive a vehicle. In this scientific statement, we critically appraise the literature on the prevalence, diagnosis, and management of poststroke cognitive impairment (PSCI) and provide a framework for clinical care while highlighting gaps that merit further study. METHODS: We performed a scoping literature review of randomized controlled clinical trials, prospective and retrospective cohort studies, case-control studies, clinical guidelines, review articles, and editorials on the incidence and prevalence, natural history, diagnosis, and management of PSCI. Scoping reviews determine the scope of a body of literature on a given topic to indicate the volume of literature and the studies currently available and provide an overview of its focus. RESULTS: PSCI is common after stroke, especially in the first year, and ranges from mild to severe. Although cognitive impairment is reversible in some cases early after stroke, up to one-third of individuals with stroke develop dementia within 5 years. The pathophysiology is not yet fully elucidated but is likely attributable to an acute stroke precipitating a series of pathological events, often in the setting of preexisting microvascular and neurodegenerative changes. Screening for associated comorbidities and interdisciplinary management are integral components of the care of individuals with PSCI. There is a need for prospective studies evaluating the individual trajectory of PSCI and the role of the acute vascular event in the predisposition for Alzheimer disease and related dementias, as well as high-quality, randomized clinical trials focused on PSCI management.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





e272 - e291


AHA Scientific Statements, cognitive dysfunction, depression, prevalence, prospective studies, risk factors, stroke, Humans, Hemorrhagic Stroke, Prospective Studies, American Heart Association, Quality of Life, Retrospective Studies, Stroke, Cognitive Dysfunction