Cognitive outcome in adults after bacterial meningitis
Hoogman, M., Weisfelt, M., van de Beek, D., de Gans, J., & Schmand, B.
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.