Following a stroke people can experience a range of cognitive problems in addition to any difficulties in motor function. These cognitive problems may include changes in language ability, in memory, in the ability to respond to the environment or to think through problems, including problems with maths and money handling.
Cognitive problems strongly influence how well people functionally recover after a stroke. Currently patients are not routinely screened to detect these cognitive problems. The Birmingham University Cognitive Screen (BUCS) is a new test instrument developed to screen patients for any cognitive problems after their stroke. Within the hour test the examiner gains an overview of a range of cognitive processes in the patient. Measures are taken using BUCS within 3 months post stroke and then again after 9 months. The BUCS screen is also given alongside other measures of general affect/depression, of apathy, of quality of life and functional outcome (activities of everyday living).
The study will examine the relationship between performance in the initial screen and subsequent follow-up. The primary outcome of the study is to assess if particular cognitive problems are markers of good or poor recovery and whether this is influenced by affective problems. Where possible, any cognitive and affective impairments will be evaluated in relation to the patient’s brain lesion to ascertain any correlations between the site of lesion and any cognitive/affective deficit, and to assess whether characteristics of the lesion predict functional outcome.