Executive Function Improvement in Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Following Shunt Surgery
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.