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The impact of stroke on emotional intelligence

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Author(s): Hoffmann Michael | Cases Lourdes | Hoffmann Bronwyn | Chen Ren

Journal: BMC Neurology
ISSN 1471-2377

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 103;
Date: 2010;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background Emotional intelligence (EI) is important for personal, social and career success and has been linked to the frontal anterior cingulate, insula and amygdala regions. Aim To ascertain which stroke lesion sites impair emotional intelligence and relation to current frontal assessment measurements. Methods One hundred consecutive, non aphasic, independently functioning patients post stroke were evaluated with the Bar-On emotional intelligence test, "known as the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i)" and frontal tests that included the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and Frontal Systems Behavioral Inventory (FRSBE) for correlational validity. The results of a screening, bedside frontal network syndrome test (FNS) and NIHSS to document neurological deficit were also recorded. Lesion location was determined by the Cerefy digital, coxial brain atlas. Results After exclusions (n = 8), patients tested (n = 92, mean age 50.1, CI: 52.9, 47.3 years) revealed that EQ-i scores were correlated (negatively) with all FRSBE T sub-scores (apathy, disinhibition, executive, total), with self-reported scores correlating better than family reported scores. Regression analysis revealed age and FRSBE total scores as the most influential variables. The WCST error percentage T score did not correlate with the EQ-i scores. Based on ANOVA, there were significant differences among the lesion sites with the lowest mean EQ-i scores associated with temporal (71.5) and frontal (87.3) lesions followed by subtentorial (91.7), subcortical gray (92.6) and white (95.2) matter, and the highest scores associated with parieto-occipital lesions (113.1). Conclusions 1) Stroke impairs EI and is associated with apathy, disinhibition and executive functioning. 2) EI is associated with frontal, temporal, subcortical and subtentorial stroke syndromes.
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