Examining the Associations between Post-Stroke Cognitive Function and Common Comorbid Conditions among Stroke Survivors

Helena W. Morrison, Melissa M. White, Janet L Rothers, Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A considerable complication for stroke survivors is the subsequent development of cognitive decline or dementia. In this study, the relationship between the inflammation-centered comorbidity burden on post-stroke cognitive function among community-dwelling stroke survivors capable of independent living was examined. Data for this secondary analysis were collected from stroke survivors (n = 97) participating in a randomized clinical trial. Participants provided baseline responses, regarding cognitive function (mini-mental status exam, MMSE; Montreal cognitive assessment, MoCA), history of stroke comorbid conditions, and the Stroke Prognosis Instrument-II (SPI-II), an index of stroke comorbidity and recurrent stroke risk within the next two years. Relationships and differences between groups were tested for significance using Spearman’s correlation, Kruskal–Wallis, or Mann–Whitney U tests. Most stroke survivors (69%) had multiple comorbidities. Total SPI-II scores were negatively correlated to both MoCA and MMSE scores (r = −0.25, p = 0.01; r = −0.22, p = 0.03, respectively), and differences in MoCA scores among SPI-II risk groups (low, medium, high) were evident (p = 0.05). In contrast, there were no differences in MoCA or MMSE scores when comorbid conditions were examined individually. Lastly, no gender differences were evident in cognitive assessments. Our data support the premise that comorbidity’s burden impacts post-stroke cognitive decline, more than a single comorbid condition. Inflammation may be an important component of this comorbidity burden. Future studies that operationalize this concept will better illuminate the complex phenomenon of post-stroke cognitive decline for improved clinical rehabilitation modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13445
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Montreal cognitive assessment
  • community-dwelling
  • inflammation
  • mini-mental status exam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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