BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The number of people suffering from stroke is strongly increasing, giving rise to multiple cognitive deficits which frequently prevent a full recovery. The identification of both spared and impaired cognitive domains has a key role to plan adequate interventions. However, the existing standard tests are either too expensive in terms of time and efforts for patients in acute stage or they derived from instruments addressing different pathologies such as dementia.
METHODS: We developed a brief neuropsychological battery (mental performance in acute stroke, MEPS) to assess different cognitive domains (language, memory, praxis, visual perception) in acute stroke patients. MEPS was validated by enrolling a sample of 204 patients suffering from stroke in acute stage, and 263 healthy controls participants.
RESULTS: The results indicated an adequate construct validity and a high ability in discriminating patients from healthy controls.
CONCLUSIONS: MEPS can be considered a simple and highly valuable bedside battery, easy to administer, with values of sensitivity and specificity suitable to be proposed as a screening tool for patients with acute stroke.