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Turkish Journal of Neurology Indexed By
  Cognitive Impairment in Infratentorial Strokes [Turk J Neurol]
Turk J Neurol. 2009; 15(4): 166-173

Cognitive Impairment in Infratentorial Strokes

Melek Kandemir1, İbrahim Örnek2, Dursun Kırbaş3
1Clinic of Neurology, Erenkoy Training and Research Hospital for Mental Health and Diseases, Istanbul, Turkey
2Clinic of Neurology, Florence Nightingale Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
3Clinic of Neurology, Bakirkoy Training and Research Hospital for Mental Health and Diseases, Istanbul, Turkey

OBJECTIVE: Beginning in the mid-1980s, with anatomical, behavioral, and neuropsychological evidence, it was suggested that the role of the cerebellum extends beyond a purely motor domain. A series of articles were published reviewing the potential role of the cerebellum in cognition. Both of these functions are supported by connections of dentate nucleus and frontal cortex through the thalamus. The cognitive profile of isolated subtentorial and cerebellar infarcts is related to the involved frontal circuit (especially executive functions). In this study, we aimed to demonstrate the cognitive profile of cerebellar and subtentorial infarcts.
METHODS: Nineteen patients with infratentorial infarcts and 19 neurologically healthy individuals as a control group were included in this study. Neuropsychometric test battery was employed in both of the groups.
RESULTS: Age, sex, education, clinical syndrome, and localization had no effect on the cognitive test performances. Performance on the California Verbal Learning Test, a verbal memory test, was worse in the patient group. Patients had difficulties in recognizing the items of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test, and spent significantly more time to complete the trail making test part B. The patient group also demonstrated lower performance level in the verbal fluency test when compared to the control group.
CONCLUSION: The cognitive impairment pattern of the verbal and visual memory tests and impairment determined on the verbal fluency test and the trail making tests may imply frontal impairment. Our results support the knowledge that cerebellar or brainstem strokes cause mild frontal type cognitive syndrome by damaging cerebello-ponto-thalamo-cortical pathways.

Keywords: Cerebellum, stroke, cognitive manifestations.

Melek Kandemir, İbrahim Örnek, Dursun Kırbaş. Cognitive Impairment in Infratentorial Strokes. Turk J Neurol. 2009; 15(4): 166-173

Corresponding Author: Melek Kandemir, Türkiye

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