Neurological soft signs as the stroke risk in sickle cell disease

Ismet Melek, Ferit Akgul, Taskin Duman, Fatih Yalcin, Edip Gali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a common form of hemoglobinopathy and is highly prevalent worldwide. Silent cerebral infarction, which represents infarction without clinical signs, is a risk factor for clinical stroke in patients with SCD. It is well known that silent infarction predisposes patients with SCD to overt stroke. The aim of the present study is to investigate the effect of silent infarction on neurological soft signs (NSS), which demonstrate subtle impairments in sensory integration, motor coordination and the sequencing of complex motor acts and to evaluate whether NSS can be used in clinical practice to evaluate the patients at risk of stroke in SCD patients with silent infarction. Fifty-nine SCD patients without any documented history of cerebrovascular accident and 28 healthy controls were included in this study. All the patients with SCD were evaluated with cerebral magnetic resonance imaging. We found that the NSS scores were significantly higher in patients with silent cerebral infarction than those in patients without silent infarction and control subjects (p <0.05). Importantly, there was no significant difference in the NSS scores between the patients without silent infarction and control subjects. These results indicate that high NSS scores represnt an important finding for diagnosis of silent infarction in SCD patients. As silent infarction increases the risk for stroke in patients with SCD, NSS can be used to provide additional information in diagnosis of the patients with possible stroke risk during the course of SCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-140
Number of pages6
JournalTohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 17 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral infarction
  • Sickle cell
  • Soft signs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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