Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Cognitive Decline Following Stroke Linked to Pain

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Cognitive Decline Following Stroke Linked to Pain

Article excerpt

A study conducted at Lund University in Sweden found that a significantly large group of people with cognitive decline after a stroke felt less pain later on than patients with no cognitive damage after the stroke.

Researchers evaluated 416 patients who had their first stroke during a one-year period and conducted follow-ups after the fourth and 16th months. Pain intensity was tracked for 48 hours and was assessed on a scale of 1 to 100.

At the 16-month follow-up, the investigators screened the patients using the Geriatric Depression Scale, and they measured cognitive abilities using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).

More than 30 percent of the patients reported moderate to severe pain after four months. After 16 months, the number of patients reporting pain dropped to 21 percent. Women were more likely to experience higher pain intensity than men.

To assess where the most pain was located in these patients, the researchers registered variables for age, sex, the main type of stroke, the National Institutes of Health (NHI) stroke scale, sensory disturbance, hypertension, cardiac disease, and diabetes mellitus. Glucose metabolism impairment has been associated with joint mobility problems and shoulder impairment in previous studies. The researchers also questioned the patients about their mobility prior to the stroke and asked them to gauge the severity of ambulatory decline (the inability to walk).

At both follow-up meetings, the team assessed the patients' status by dividing the results into three categories: independent, moderate dependence, and major dependence. …

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