Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Adv Clin Exp Med
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Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

2017, vol. 26, nr 5, August, p. 767–776

doi: 10.17219/acem/63138

Publication type: original article

Language: English

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Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Open Access

Location of the ischemic focus in rehabilitated stroke patients with impairment of executive functions

Agnieszka M. Jankowska1,A,B,C,D, Robert Klimkiewicz1,B,C, Anna Kubsik1,B,C, Paulina Klimkiewicz1,B,C, Janusz Śmigielski2,C, Marta Woldańska-Okońska1,E,F

1 Department of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine, WAM University Hospital, Łódź, Poland

2 Department of Geriatrics, Healthy Ageing Research Centre, Medical University of Lodz, Poland


Background. Executive dysfunctions are part of the clinical symptoms of a stroke and can inhibit the process of rehabilitation. Patients with impaired executive functions may manifest aggression, impulsiveness, impaired thinking and planning.
Objectives. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of the ischemic focus location on the effectiveness of physiotherapy in improving the executive functions in patients after stroke.
Material and Methods. Ninety patients after unilateral ischemic cerebral stroke were studied. We studied 45 patients treated at the Department of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine of the WAM University Hospital of Lodz for 5 weeks. The rehabilitation program included: kinesitherapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, psychological consultations and psychotherapy. The control group consisted of patients who were waiting for admission to the Department of Rehabilitation. The patients in both groups were divided into three subgroups with different locations of stroke: front, back and subcortical. Executive functions were measured by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), the trail making test (TMT - A, TMT - B), the verbal fluency test (VFT).
Results. Patients rehabilitated in the hospital with the front and subcortical lesion location reported improvement in executive functions in terms of a greater number of the analyzed indicators of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) than those with the back lesion location. Patients rehabilitated at home with the subcortical lesion location did not experience a significant improvement in executive functions in any of the analyzed indicators of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Most of the indicators, with the exception of the total errors of Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and TMT B, have not been modified by the location of stroke.
Conclusion. Executive dysfunction occurs not only in patients with an anterior location of the stroke, but also in the posterior and subcortical locations. Patients with a subcortical location of the stroke require more treatment to mitigate the dysfunction.

Key words

rehabilitation, executive functions, stroke

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