[responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to Post”]
A bedside test for people who have had a stroke could predict their health three years later.
The thinking skills test, done in the week after a stroke, can identify people who are seven times more likely to die within three years.
People who do badly are more than twice as likely to later struggle with daily activities like washing and dressing.
The Montreal Cognitive Assessment, famously passed by US President Donald Trump, takes only minutes to complete and includes memory, language and concentration tests.
It is widely used for people who have suffered a stroke.
A study of 274 stroke patients found it could predict their chances of death, mobility problems and ability to live independently.
That is because problems with cognition, or ‘thinking skills’, can be a red flag for wider issues in the brain and circulation problems leading to potentially fatal high blood pressure and cardiac disease.
Researchers found those who scored badly in the week after a stroke had a survival rate of 83 per cent, compared to 97 per cent for those with no thinking problems.
Among those scoring less than 26 on cognitive skills, 42 per cent had problems with daily activities three years later, compared to 13 per cent without cognitive impairment.
Dr Martin Dichgans, a co-author of the study from Ludwig-Maximilians University in Germany, said: ‘We found that this test, which takes less than ten minutes, can help predict whether people will have impaired thinking skills, problems that keep them from performing daily tasks such as bathing and dressing and even whether they will be more likely to die.