Relation among Psychopathological Symptoms, Neuropsychological Domains, and Functional Disability in Subacute Poststroke Rehabilitation

Viviana Lo Buono, Lilla Bonanno, Rosanna Palmeri, Francesco Corallo, Sergio Parisi, Antonia Trinchera, Edoardo Sessa, Patrizia Pollicino, Bruno Galletti, Placido Bramanti, Silvia Marino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Neuropsychiatric disorders are commonly observed in patients following a stroke. Among 30%-60% of poststroke patients suffer from depression and anxiety (18%-25%). Some authors suggest an association between psychological symptoms and lesions in specific brain areas. In particular, lesions in left frontal cortex and left basal ganglia are frequently associated with poststroke depression and with comorbidity of anxiety and depression, whereas isolated anxiety symptoms are frequently observed after right hemispheric lesions.

METHODS: We investigated the relationship between depressive symptoms and anxiety in patients with subacute stroke and lesion side, motor disability, and cognitive impairment. We enrolled 100 patients undergoing a rehabilitative program within 1-3 months after a first-onset stroke.

RESULTS: Our patients presented mild to moderate depressive and anxious symptoms after stroke. In the comparison between patients with right and left lesions, during subacute poststroke phase, we did not find a specific link between existence of psychiatric symptoms and lesion side. However, in left lesion, depression correlated with age and alteration in delayed memory and attention, whereas memory deficit influenced anxiety symptoms. On the contrary, in right lesion, depressive symptoms were associated with attention ability, whereas anxiety was related to memory and attention. Depression and anxiety were not related to degree of neurological and functional deficits.

CONCLUSIONS: The comorbidity between stroke and psychopathological disorders has been recognized as syndrome and should be diagnosed early and treated in order to improve the quality of life of patients and caregivers, and to improve rehabilitative process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1381-1385
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 27 2018


  • Aged
  • Anxiety/epidemiology
  • Attention
  • Brain/diagnostic imaging
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cognition
  • Cognition Disorders/epidemiology
  • Depression/epidemiology
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Italy/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Recovery of Function
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke/epidemiology
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


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