Abstract

We aimed to determine the severity and pattern of cognitive dysfunction in patients with basal ganglia (BG) hemorrhage within the first 6 months after stroke and to identify its clinical correlates. The study samples consisted of 30 patients with BG hemorrhage and 37 healthy controls. A comprehensive neuropsychological battery including tests of attention, memory, language, visuospatial function, and executive function was administered to all participants. Relative to healthy controls, BG patients performed significantly worse across different cognitive domains after controlling for age, sex, and education. 96.7% of patients displayed defective performance on at least three neuropsychological tests. Discriminant function analysis showed that visuospatial function and memory were the best predictors of group membership (patient/control), with an overall classification rate of 95.5%. Only side of stroke and admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score correlated significantly with some of the cognitive domains. The widespread pattern of cognitive deficits seen in BG patients provides evidence for the substantial involvement of the BG in many neuronal pathways connecting cortical and subcortical brain areas responsible for various cognitive functions.