Recurrent Low-Grade Gliomas: Does Reoperation Affect Neurocognitive Functioning?

Neurosurgery 90:221–232, 2022

Reoperations in patients with recurrent low-grade gliomas (RLGG) were proposed to control tumor residual and delay the risk of malignant transformation over time.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate neurocognitive outcomes in patients with RLGG who underwent a second surgery with awake monitoring.

METHODS: In this retrospective study, patients who underwent a second awake surgery for RLGG were included. Patients had presurgical and 3-mo postsurgical neuropsychological assessments. Data were converted into Z-scores and combined by the cognitive domain. Number of patients with cognitive deficits (Z-score <À1.65), variations of Z-scores, and extent of resection (EOR) were analyzed.

RESULTS: Sixty-two patients were included (mean age: 41.2 ± 10.0 yr). None had permanent neurological deficits postoperatively. Eight patients (12.9%) had a cognitive deficit preoperatively. Four additional patients (6.5%) had a cognitive deficit 3 mo after reoperation. Among other patients, 13 (21.0%) had a mild decline without cognitive deficits while 29 (46.8%) had no change of their performances and 8 (12.9%) improved. Overall, 94.2% of the patients returned to work. There were no correlations between EOR and Z-scores. Total/ subtotal resections were achieved in 91.9% of the patients (mean residual: 3.1 cm3 ). Fiftyeight patients (93.5%) were still alive after an overall follow-up of 8.3 yr.

CONCLUSION: Reoperation with awake monitoring in patients with RLGG was compatible with an early recovery of neuropsychological abilities. Four patients (6.5%) presented a new cognitive deficit at 3 mo postoperatively. Total/subtotal resections were achieved in most patients. Based on these favorable outcomes, reoperation should be considered in a more systematic way.

Patients with incidental WHO grade II glioma frequently suffer from neuropsychological disturbances

Plastic relocation of motor cortex in a patient with LGG (low grade glioma) confirmed by NBS (navigated brain stimulation)

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:305–312

WHO grade II gliomas (low-grade glioma, LGG) are increasingly diagnosed in patients undergoing MRI for many conditions. These patients are classically considered asymptomatic because they do not experience seizures. Although it was previously demonstrated that symptomatic LGG patients frequently have neurocognitive disorders, the literature does not provide data on the neuropsychological status of patients with incidental LGG (iLGG).

Objective Our aim is to investigate whether neurocognitive impairments exist in a homogeneous iLGG population.

Methods We conducted an analysis of pretreatment neuropsychological assessments of patients with iLGG (histologically proven) admitted to our center from 2007 to 2014. We also obtained data on subjective complaints, tumor size and location.

Results Our study focused on 15 iLGG patients. Two thirds reported subjective complaints, mainly tiredness (40 %) and attentional impairment (33 %). Neurocognitive functions were disturbed in 60 % of patients; 53 % had altered executive functions, 20 % had working memory impairment, and 6 % had attentional disturbances. Only one patient with normal preoperative neuropsychological assessment experienced a deficit at the 3-month postoperative examination.

Conclusions For the first time to our knowledge, we suggest that numerous iLGG patients have neuropsychological impairments. Therefore, greater attention should be paid to objective neuropsychological assessment in iLGG because of the high prevalence of insidious cognitive deficits. Moreover, our original findings bring into question the traditional wait-andsee attitude in iLGG, mainly based on the erroneous dogma that these patients have no functional disturbances. Neuropsychological assessment is mandatory to select the best individualized therapeutic management with preservation of quality of life.

Neuropsychological assessment after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: Swiss recommendations

Subarachnoid hemorrhage and intracerebral hematoma caused by aneurysms of the anterior circulation

Acta Neurochirurgica 157 (9):1449-1458

In a high proportion of patients with favorable outcome after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), neuropsychological deficits, depression, anxiety, and fatigue are responsible for the inability to return to their regular premorbid life and pursue their professional careers. These problems often remain unrecognized, as no recommendations concerning a standardized comprehensive assessment have yet found entry into clinical routines.
To establish a nationwide standard concerning a comprehensive assessment after aSAH, representatives of all neuropsychological and neurosurgical departments of those eight Swiss centers treating acute aSAH have agreed on a common protocol. In addition, a battery of questionnaires and neuropsychological tests was selected, optimally suited to the deficits found most prevalent in aSAH patients that was available in different languages and standardized.
We propose a baseline inpatient neuropsychological screening using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) between days 14 and 28 after aSAH. In an outpatient setting at 3 and 12 months after bleeding, we recommend a neuropsychological examination, testing all relevant domains including attention, speed of information processing, executive functions, verbal and visual learning/memory, language, visuo-perceptual abilities, and premorbid intelligence. In addition, a detailed assessment capturing anxiety, depression, fatigue, symptoms of frontal lobe affection, and quality of life should be performed.
This standardized neuropsychological assessment will lead to a more comprehensive assessment of the patient, facilitate the detection and subsequent treatment of previously unrecognized but relevant impairments, and help to determine the incidence, characteristics, modifiable risk factors, and the clinical course of these impairments after aSAH.

Cognitive and motor improvement after retesting in normal-pressure hydrocephalus: a real change or merely a learning effect?

J Neurosurg 112: 399–409, 2010. (DOI: 10.3171/2009.4.JNS081664)

Object. The test-retest method is commonly used in the management of patients with normal-pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). One of the most widely used techniques in the diagnosis of this condition is evaluation of the
patient’s response to CSF evacuation by lumbar puncture (a so-called tap test or spinal tap). However, interpretation of improved results in subsequent evaluations is controversial because higher scores could reflect a real change in specific abilities or could be simply the result of a learning effect.
Methods. To determine the effect of testing-retesting in patients with NPH, the authors analyzed changes documented on 5 neuropsychological tests (the Toulouse-Pieron, Trail Making Test A, Grooved Pegboard, Word Fluency, and Bingley Memory tests) and several motor ability scales (motor performance test, length of step, and walking speed tests) in a series of 32 patients with NPH who underwent the same battery on 4 consecutive days. The same tests were also applied in 30 healthy volunteers. In both groups, the authors used the generalized least-squares regression method with random effects to test for learning effects. To evaluate possible differences in response depending on the degree of cognitive impairment at baseline, the results were adjusted by using the Mini-Mental State Examination scores of patients and controls when these scores were significant in the model.
Results. In patients with NPH there were no statistically significant differences in any of the neuropsychological
or motor tests performed over the 4 consecutive days, except in the results of the Toulouse-Pieron test, which
were significantly improved on Day 3. In contrast, healthy volunteers had statistically significant improvement in the results of the Toulouse-Pieron test, Trail Making Test A, and Grooved Pegboard test but not in the remaining neuropsychological tests. Patients in the healthy volunteer group also exhibited statistically significant improvement in the motor performance test but not in step length or walking speed.
Conclusions. No learning effect was found in patients with NPH on any of the neuropsychological or motor tests. Clinical improvement after retesting in these patients reflects real changes, and this strategy can therefore be used in both the diagnosis and evaluation of surgical outcomes.

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