The Computerized General Neuropsychological INPH Test (CoGNIT) provides the clinician and the researcher with standardized and accessible cognitive assessments in patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (INPH). CoGNIT includes tests of memory, executive functions, attention, manual dexterity, and psychomotor speed. Investigations of the validity and reliability of CoGNIT have been published previously. The aim of this study was to evaluate CoGNIT’s sensitivity to cognitive change after shunt surgery in patients with INPH.
Forty-one patients with INPH (median Mini-Mental State Examination score 26) were given CoGNIT preoperatively and at a postoperative follow-up 4 months after shunt surgery. Scores were compared to those of 44 healthy elderly control volunteers. CoGNIT was administered by either a nurse or an occupational therapist.
Improvement after shunt surgery was seen in all cognitive domains: memory (10-word list test, p < 0.01); executive functions (Stroop incongruent color and word test, p < 0.01); attention (2-choice reaction test, p < 0.01); psychomotor speed (Stroop congruent color and word test, p < 0.01); and manual dexterity (4-finger tapping, p < 0.01). No improvement was seen in the Mini-Mental State Examination score. Preoperative INPH test scores were significantly impaired compared to healthy control subjects (p < 0.001 for all tests).
In this study the feasibility for CoGNIT to detect a preoperative impairment and postoperative improvement in INPH was demonstrated. CoGNIT has the potential to become a valuable tool in clinical and research work.
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