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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 21 (2009), Issue 3-4, Pages 181-185
http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/BEN-2009-0249

Executive Function Improvement in Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Following Shunt Surgery

Ezequiel Gleichgerrcht,1 Andrés Cervio,2 Jorge Salvat,2 Anselmo Rodríguez Loffredo,3 Luciana Vita,1 María Roca,1,3 Teresa Torralva,1,3 and Facundo Manes1,3

1Institute of Cognitive Neurology (INECO), Buenos Aires, Argentina
2Raúl Carrea Institute, Buenos Aires, Argentina
3Institute of Neuroscience, Favaloro University, Buenos Aires Argentina

Received 30 November 2009; Accepted 30 November 2009

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The aim of this investigation was to evaluate improvement of executive functions after shunt surgery in patients with early normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). Patients with NPH were assessed before and after shunt surgery with tests shown to be sensitive to damage to the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Significant differences were found between basal and follow-up performances on the Boston Naming Test, the backwards digits span, Part B of the Trail Making Test, and the number of words produced on the phonological fluency task. In conclusion, our study reveals that patients with NPH who respond positively to continuous slow lumbar cerebral spinal fluid drainage and receive a ventriculoperitoneal shunt implant, improve their performance on tasks of executive function. Due to the high demand for this form of mental processing in real-life complex scenarios, and based on the severe executive deficits present in both demented and non-demented NPH patients, we encourage the assessment of executive functions in this clinical group.