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Emotion perception may be impaired after stroke. No study on emotion perception after stroke has taken the influence of post-stroke depressive symptoms into account, although depressive symptoms themselves may hamper emotion perception.
To compare the perception of emotional facial expressions in stroke patients with and without depressive symptoms.
Twenty-two stroke patients participated whose depressive symptoms were classified using the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (cutoff = 10) and who were compared with healthy controls. Emotion recognition was measured using morphed images of facial expressions.
Patients with depressive symptoms performed worse than controls on all emotions; patients without depressive symptoms performed at control level. Patients with depressive symptoms were less sensitive to the emotions anger, happiness and sadness compared with patients without depressive symptoms.
Post-stroke depressive symptoms impair emotion perception. This extends findings in bipolar disorder indicating that emotion perception deficits are strongly related to the level of depression.
Impairments in executive functioning frequently occur after acquired brain damage, in psychiatric disorders, and in relation to aging. The Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test is a relatively new measure for assessing the ability to detect and follow a rule, an important aspect of executive functioning. To date, normative data on this task are limited, particularly concerning the elderly. This study presents age- and education-adjusted regression-based norms obtained in a group of healthy older participants (n = 283; mean age 67.4 ± 8.5 years). The applicability and validity of these norms were further examined in different groups of patients with stroke (n = 106), diabetes mellitus (n = 376), MCI/early dementia (n = 70), psychiatric disorders (n = 63), and Korsakoff’s syndrome (n = 41). The results showed that patients with Korsakoff’s syndrome, stroke, and psychiatric disorders performed significantly worse than healthy controls. Test-retest correlation (n = 83), learning effects, and correlations with other neuropsychological tests were also explored. Based on the present study, the Brixton test appears a useful addition to existing measures of executive functioning. Moreover, the test can be reliably applied in different groups of clinical patients. (JINS, 2009, 15, 695–703.)
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