How Does Stroke Affect Thinking and Behavior?

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Stroke Notes

Many parents ask us how a stroke will affect their child’s thinking and behavior. Problems in these areas are difficult to predict. In children who suffered a stroke at birth (perinatal stroke), the problems may not be obvious until a child enters school.

To answer to this question, we recently completed a study of 40 children (ages 3 to 16 years) working with Danielle Bosenbark, PhD, and Lauren Krivitzky, PhD, from Neuropsychology. Parents completed questionnaires and children underwent testing to evaluate aspects of thinking and behavior.

Study results showed that children with perinatal stroke are at higher risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than children without stroke. In some children, researchers also found problems with short-term memory, planning, and decision-making. We did not see any differences in boys and girls.

While most children were doing very well and did not have difficulties in these areas, these findings can help clinicians identify and address such problems earlier. 

We are so very grateful to the children and families who participated in this study — thank you!


We are trying to answer many other questions about stroke in children. If you are interested in hearing more about our ongoing research efforts, please contact our Research Coordinator (Laura Jastrzab) at 267-426-7332 or