Cognitive outcome in adults after bacterial meningitis

Hoogman, M., Weisfelt, M., van de Beek, D., de Gans, J., & Schmand, B. (2007). Cognitive outcome in adults after bacterial meningitis. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 78, 1092-1096. doi:10.1136/jnnp.2006.110023.
Objective: To evaluate cognitive outcome in adult survivors of bacterial meningitis. Methods: Data from three prospective multicentre studies were pooled and reanalysed, involving 155 adults surviving bacterial meningitis (79 after pneumococcal and 76 after meningococcal meningitis) and 72 healthy controls. Results: Cognitive impairment was found in 32% of patients and this proportion was similar for survivors of pneumococcal and meningococcal meningitis. Survivors of pneumococcal meningitis performed worse on memory tasks (p<0.001) and tended to be cognitively slower than survivors of meningococcal meningitis (p = 0.08). We found a diffuse pattern of cognitive impairment in which cognitive speed played the most important role. Cognitive performance was not related to time since meningitis; however, there was a positive association between time since meningitis and self-reported physical impairment (p<0.01). The frequency of cognitive impairment and the numbers of abnormal test results for patients with and without adjunctive dexamethasone were similar. Conclusions: Adult survivors of bacterial meningitis are at risk of cognitive impairment, which consists mainly of cognitive slowness. The loss of cognitive speed is stable over time after bacterial meningitis; however, there is a significant improvement in subjective physical impairment in the years after bacterial meningitis. The use of dexamethasone was not associated with cognitive impairment.
Publication type
Journal article
Publication date

Share this page