Cognitive deficits associated with frontal-lobe infarction in children with sickle cell disease.
Watkins KE., Hewes DK., Connelly A., Kendall BE., Kingsley DP., Evans JE., Gadian DG., Vargha-Khadem F., Kirkham FJ.
This study examined the cognitive manifestations of frontal-lobe infarction in a population of children with sickle cell disease (SCD). Forty-one patients with SCD underwent MRI. Five patients with stroke symptoms had large infarcts encroaching on the tissue of the frontal lobes. Four patients without symptoms had smaller frontal-lobe infarcts. The patients with stroke were significantly impaired on measures of intelligence, memory, and frontal-lobe function (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, WCST) compared with both the patients with normal MRI scans (N=30) and a group of sibling controls (N=15), who did not differ from each other. Patients with covert infarction obtained scores on the intelligence tests and the WCST that fell in between those of the stroke patients and the other two groups. This trend toward impairment suggests that patients with covert infarction are at similar risk for cognitive deficits to those with stroke.