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Rehabilitation of cognitive deficits poststroke: Systematic review and meta- analysis of randomized controlled trials

Stroke Feb 08, 2022

According to findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis, there exists some evidence to back multiple component interventions, physical activity interventions, and noninvasive brain stimulation improving cognitive function after stroke.

  • By exploring five databases from inception to August 2019, researchers identified a total of 64 eligible randomized controlled trials (n=4,005 participants) of rehabilitation interventions for people with stroke when compared with other active interventions or standard care where cognitive function was an outcome.

  • Improvements in general cognitive functioning (MD, 1.56) and memory (standardized MD, 0.49) were achieved with multiple component interventions vs standard care.

  • Physical activity interventions brought about improvements in neglect (MD, 13.99) and balance (MD, 2.97) than active controls.

  • There was an impact of noninvasive brain stimulation on neglect (MD, 20.79) and functional status (MD, 14.02) relative to active controls.

  • A significant impact on cognitive function was not exerted by cognitive rehabilitation (MD, 0.37) or occupational-based interventions (MD, 0.45), compared with standard care.

  • The observations call for cautious interpretation due to the overall moderate to high risk of bias, heterogeneity of interventions, and outcome measures across studies.

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