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Chronic Information-processing Changes in Individuals With a First-ever Clinical Lacunar Syndrome

Anderson, Jacqueline F. I. PhD*; Saling, Michael M. PhD*; Donnan, Geoffrey A. MD

Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology: December 2008 - Volume 21 - Issue 4 - p 236-241
doi: 10.1097/WNN.0b013e31817d74d0
Original Studies

Objective The aim of this study was to examine whether chronic cognitive changes occur after a first-ever single clinical lacunar syndrome.

Background Patients who have been diagnosed with a first-ever single clinical lacunar syndrome, on the basis of clinical rather than radiologic criteria, perform normally on general clinical neuropsychologic measures.

Method We examined information-processing abilities in 17 first-ever lacunar syndrome participants [lacunar anterior circulation infarct (LACI)], using 2 experimental tasks of information processing.

Results At a group level, LACI participants were significantly impaired relative to stroke-free controls. Specifically, LACI participants had a reduced ability to process information under conditions of increasing attentional demand; this deficit was not caused by a fundamental impairment in speed of information processing.

Conclusions The current findings represent the first evidence of chronically impaired cognition in individuals who have suffered a single clinical lacunar syndrome event, but have no history of other clinical stroke.

*Department of Psychology, School of Behavioural Science, The University of Melbourne

National Stroke Research Institute, Neurosciences Building, Austin Health, Repatriation Campus, Heidelberg Heights, Victoria, Australia

Supported by grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council, Austin Hospital Medical Research Foundation, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Foundation for High Blood Pressure Research, National Stroke Foundation, and Parke-Davis Pfizer (Cardiovascular and Lipids research grant).

Reprints: Dr Jacqueline F. I. Anderson, PhD, Department of Psychology, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, 3010 Australia (e-mail:

Received for publication August 27, 2007; accepted April 22, 2008

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.