A stroke can be followed by many cognitive deficits even when the patient survives. The impact of cognitive impairments is further worsened by the inadequacy of the available neuropsychological instruments used as bedside screenings in the acute phase of this condition. A neuropsychological exam is recommended in the acute phase with the aim to identify also more subtle impairments not involving language, such as unilateral spatial neglect. However, available screening instruments such as the MMSE or the MoCA do not allow to investigate this kind of deficits. To overcome these limitations and to provide a useful instrument for clinical treatment of acute stroke, we developed the Mental Acute Performance in Stroke (MAPS), integrating neuropsychological assessment for diverse functions, ranging from language to memory to praxis to visual perception, easy to administer but able to provide the clinician with more information about the patient cognitive profile.
The MAPS evaluation tool has been validated a tested on a large sample of patients and is now undergoing further evaluations for its use in specific clinical settings.
The MAPS project has been granted by the Italian Ministry of Health.