Young adult stroke: neuropsychological dysfunction and recovery.
Etiology, neuropsychological deficits, aphasia type, and recovery were retrospectively studied in 254 young adults with stroke. Cardiac embolism was the most common cause of stroke in patients younger than 40, while atherosclerosis was the most frequent etiology among those aged 41-50 years. In 166 aphasic patients, Broca's aphasia was the most common while Wernicke's and transcortical aphasias were rare. Compared with an older aphasic population, young patients had significantly more nonfluent aphasias and fewer comprehension deficits. These differences were related to stroke localization: the majority of infarcts localized by computed tomography in 37 patients involved either the entire middle cerebral artery territory or its superior or deep branches, explaining the preponderance of nonfluent aphasia. Prognosis of aphasia in our patients was better than has been reported for non-age-selected aphasia populations. Roughly one third of our patients recovered completely, one third improved, and one third had an unresolved language deficit. Complete recovery and significant improvement were observed even greater than 6 months after stroke. In some patients, recovery was much better than might have been predicted from lesion site and size depicted on computed tomograms.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association